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Why Jalen Green’s historically bad numbers could mean silver lining for Houston Rockets


A lot of expectations were placed on Jalen Green after he was drafted 2nd in the first round of the 2021 draft class. After 15 games into the season, Green has recorded historically bad numbers as a rookie, failing to live up to his hype. However, the Houston Rockets fans still have a reason to believe the future remains bright for the franchise.

Jalen Green having the worst 15 games of a rookie

Green, after 15 games, owns the record as the rookie with the worst plus/minus since 1996-97. Included in the list who had the lowest plus/minus in their first year are:

  • Jahlil Okafor -196 (2015-16)
  • Andrés Nocioni -168 (2004-05)
  • Kevin Durant -161 (2007-08)
  • Marcus Fizer -156 (2000-01)

The Rockets are expected to struggle because the team is tanking. They only won 1 in 15 games, and it looks like it will be a long season for the team after freezing John Wall in the lineup in what was allegedly a mutual decision. Having the worst +/- on the floor in more than two decades may not necessarily mean Jalen is a bust; it just means he struggled to impact his team whenever he was on the floor. The 19-year-old showed flashes of his potential in some games. In his debut, he scored 23 points, including some nasty drives to the basket.

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His per-game average of 14.4 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.6 assists are decent, but he needs to cut down on his three turnovers average per game. Good thing, among the players who also started with similar numbers as Green’s in their rookie year, several of them were able to get out of their slump and became All-Stars in the league.

The future remains bright for Houston

As mentioned, KD struggled but became a superstar in the league. A list of averages of other stars such as Bradley Beal, Zach Lavine, Anthony Edwards, and Devin Booker in their rookie year revealed Green’s numbers are not that far behind. 

Aside from cutting his turnovers, he needs to learn how to be efficient in his 3-point shots. With still many years ahead of him, it’s expected that Jalen could also follow the footsteps of Booker, Beal, and LaVine in their rise to superstardom in the NBA. The Filipino-American rookie seems to be a good lad and coachable, and he already has the skills to dominate the league someday. He needs the support of the front office, fans, and the right attitude to improve. 

Rockets fans should not worry. At the bottom of the standings, there’s no way for them but up. They should be patient with young players such as Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr. because once they mature, the Rockets could become scary once again.

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