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Too Bad The Rockets Suck, Because Jalen Green Would've Been AMAZING To Watch In The NBA Playoffs

Carmen Mandato. Getty Images.

The Houston Rockets have had jack shit to play for this entire season. They were buried and done for after losing 16 of their first 17 games, which put their hopes of competently developing young players in jeopardy.

Jalen Green didn't care. He just kept coming. With nothing to gain down the stretch on a lost team, Green could've coasted to a mediocre to below-average rookie campaign. Instead, he's out there doing THIS:

Like, is there Flubber in Green's shoes? I don't get it.

That's just one of the several highlight-reel plays Green has made over the past month and a half or so, where he went from pretty forgettable to must-see TV. Here are the 20-year-old phenom's notable splits from the 2021-22 season:

  • Before All-Star break: 43 games, 14.6 ppg, 38.7 FG% / 31.1 3FG% /81.8 FT%, 3.1 rpg, 2.3 apg
  • After All-Star break: 23 games, 21.3 ppg, 47.2 FG% / 38.9 3FG% / 74.6 FT%, 4.0 rpg, 3.2 apg

It's one thing for a player to make a leap in Year 2. It's another thing entirely to see someone hit what looks like a proverbial rookie wall, push past it, and continue ascending even in the midst of a potentially toxic, losing situation in Houston. That's what we just saw from Green.

This guy put up 30+ points in six of his last seven starts of the year, including a personal-best 41 in Sunday's loss to the Hawks. He's a high-volume perimeter shooter who's rapidly improving his consistency from beyond the arc. Green is also an athletic marvel who can take anyone off the dribble and soar to the rim. He's already showing more willingness and decisiveness as a playmaker, and is forming a low-key promising backcourt of the future with Kevin Porter Jr.

To be on this kind of heater, only to be out of official NBA action for roughly six months, it sucks to see this for Green. He's on a stunning, meteoric ascent and is only beginning to realize his basketball superpowers. I would've loved to see him lace up in the postseason, even on a lower-seeded underdog, because he can single-handedly move the needle from an entertainment perspective like few in the NBA can. And again, he's 20.

I'll say it: Green has transformed into a superstar already. Rockets fans have some glimmer of hope for the first time since the James Harden trade. Now, they have the 2022 NBA Draft to hopefully add another franchise cornerstone and really kick this thing into gear next season.