This is the first season that Houston has formed their team, intending to give its younger players as much playing time as possible so that they can discover their game. This season, they have been comprised primarily of younger players and only a little else.
Jalen Green’s sophomore campaign has been full of ups and downs. This season, he is averaging more than 22 points a game, an increase over the previous season when he averaged 17 points per game. Besides that, Green has yet to take the risk in other contexts. Even though he shoots even more than he did the year before, his field goal percentage hovers around 40 percent. He still only averages about four assists per game and two turnovers on a per-game basis.
It seemed inevitable that Green would end himself in this position. He was selected in the first draft round in 2021 as a 19-year-old player with all of the raw attributes of a future All-Star scorer. It would take some time for all the components of being a superstar, such as playmaking, shot selection, and leadership, to mature fully.
Like Green, Kevin Porter Jr. has exceeded expectations for the Rockets this season, which is particularly impressive given the deal terms he is now bound to. During the offseason, the Houston Rockets agreed to sign the player to a four-year contract extension, beginning with the following season. Following the initial year of the contract, the subsequent two years are not guaranteed, and a last year is a club option.
This was an important safety net for a player who had off-court issues in the past. Despite the fact that Porter Jr.’s performance may be highly unpredictable, Rockets fans should be pleased with his play thus far this season. This season, he has averaged 19 points, five points, and five assists, and he appears to be a good candidate for the lead guard position in the future. Although he and Green are experiencing some growing pains, they still have time to work through these issues.
Outside of these two players, the Rockets’ roster is filled with nothing but potential at every position. Recent games have shown that Jabari Smith Jr. has found his range. Alperen Sengun looks like a juiced-up Luis Scola. Refrain from being deceived by the record of 19-59. These people should be avoided at all costs.
The Los Angeles Lakers are the ones most aware of the threat posed by the Rockets. A mere two weeks ago, the Lakers were defeated by the Rockets in a game that was considered to be of critical importance. This time around, the Lakers will arrive in Houston well-prepared.
While the Lakers continue to navigate their way through the murky center of the Western Conference, these past few weeks have been extremely important for the team. They will start the next day in seventh place with a record of 39-38. They are only one game behind the sixth seed and are guaranteed a position in the playoffs.
Anthony Davis has demonstrated his true character in the face of adversity. He finished the game with 38 points and 17 rebounds against the Minnesota Timberwolves. AD has been on a scoring tear as of late, scoring 28 points on 60 percent shooting while also grabbing roughly 11 rebounds and blocking two shots over his last seven games.
Also, LeBron James is scheduled to participate in his fourth game since recovering from a foot injury. The all-time scoring leader in the league has boosted the team, even though he hasn’t fully gotten back into his stride yet.
This club moved from having a mismatch of three superstars supported by an old core back to having a couple of superstars with a young curtain of supporting players surrounding them, similar to how they ran the table during their title run in 2020. They know they have a chance to pull off a few upsets this season, and the fact that they are a scary matchup for teams currently atop the standings makes them even more confident.