Jalen Green participated in this year's Dunk Contest in Cleveland, and although it wasn’t an excellent performance, no one could deny the young man is talented and has a high ceiling. However, he’s not getting a lot of opportunities to showcase what he’s got in Houston Rockets, which ultimately hurts his Rookie of the Year campaign.
Jalen Green fewest touches among rookies
Among the top five in scoring, Jalen Green gets the least touches, according to NBA Advanced Stats.
- Cade Cunningham: (74.7.) Averaging 16.0 ppg
- Jalen Green: (44.2) Averaging 14.8 ppg
- Evan Mobley: (60.1) Averaging 14.8 ppg
- Scottie Barnes: (63.8) Averaging 14.8 ppg
- Jalen Suggs: (62.4) Averaging 12.4 ppg
This means Green is making the most of his minutes on the floor. It also means he’s not being integrated enough in the Rockets' system. When you have a talented player like Jalen, the offense should flow through him. After all, he has the potential to become a franchise player in the future - there's no better time to give him possessions and let him play through his mistakes.
What the Rockets need to do
Green is an offensive threat: he can shoot, dunk, and create for others. Having him as the primary ballhandler in Houston would do wonders for his development and the team. JG is in the starting five with Eric Gordon and Kevin Porter Jr., who more or less play the same way. Head coach Stephen Silas needs to decide if he’s keeping Green in the starting lineup or have him come off the bench to lead the second unit.
Fewer touches hurt Green’s chances of winning the ROY. In the list released by NBA, JG is currently out of the top five in the Rookie Ladder at the 8th spot. Even rookies Herbert Jones and Ayo Dosunmu were ranked ahead of him. If he wants to climb the Rookie Ladder, he must increase his efficiency and production to get more Ws for the Rockets.
Other rebuilding teams such as Detroit Pistons give all the playing time to their young stars. The Rockets should also do the same and integrate Jalen into their system. It will only be a win-win situation for the player and the team in the near future.