Las Vegas (SportsRadio 610)- The packed crowd inside the Thomas and Mack Center expected a show on Sunday afternoon and Jalen Green delivered by scoring a game-high 23 points as the Rockets won their Summer League opener, 84-76 over the Cleveland Cavaliers, in a sign of what’s to come.
“I suspect he's gonna look very comfortable doing a wide range of things for quite some time,” Rockets assistant coach and Summer League head coach Will Weaver said. “
Green showed off all the reasons why he was taken second overall in last month’s draft on Sunday. Over the course of his 30 minutes on the floor, the 19-year old showed the basketball world his shot making, quickness, explosiveness, and playmaking, but different traits stood out to Weaver.
“He's really bright, just understands things on a deep level when he pays attention, and he's very diligent in his preparation.”
After missing his first shot of the game, Green hit from 17-feet while getting fouled from behind by Isaac Okoro, the fifth overall pick of the 2020 draft. At the end of the first quarter he blew past Jalen Hands for a layup with one second left on the clock. As the game progressed showed off his step-back jumper from both inside and outside the three-point line. Then, to top it all off he executed a perfect pick and roll by delivering a slick pocket pass to K.J. Martin for a dunk.
“I was just trying to read off the screens, Green said. “My teammates were setting me up, setting good screens, and I was just trying to make the reads.”
Green had taken part in four practices with the Rockets before taking the floor on Sunday, and Rockets head coach Stephen Silas, who sat across from the bench during the game told SportsRadio 610 he’s learned a lot about Green since the draft.
“He’s a very unselfish player. There’s times where just kind of gives (the ball) up because that’s the right play to make, and I didn’t really know that about him. I knew he was a scorer, for sure, but he plays the game the right way, so I'm not sure if I'm surprised about that, but that's one of the things that’s stood out so far.”
Green shot 9-of-18 from the field against the Cavs, 9-of-18 from behind the three-point line. He added five rebounds and two assists, which would’ve been much more had the Rockets not shot a lousy 23 percent from long distance, and he committed just one turnover.
The Rockets second Summer League game will be Tuesday night against top pick Cade Cunningham and the Detroit Pistons and 8:00.