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Jalen Green working out in Houston, focused on next step for Rockets

By Brian Barefield

HOUSTON — No NBA player wants to be sitting at home during the playoffs watching other teams compete for a chance to win the NBA Finals. It burns them up on the inside and drives them to want to be better in the next next season to get their team over the hump.

For Houston Rockets rookie guard Jalen Green, who is as competitive as they come, he does not like being off the court when other players he faced this past season are on the court still playing the game he loves.

“The playoffs are going on and seeing everyone play is kind of annoying, because you want to be out there,” said Green, who talked about being in Houston and working out with his teammates.

Green was drafted No. 2 overall in the 2021 NBA draft by the Rockets. He had a typical start for a rookie before the All-Star break, but from that point forward, his game went to the next level as he learned to adjust to the different defensive schemes orchestrated to stop him from using his quick first step and explosiveness in the paint.

By the end of the regular season, you could see the maturation process as he was awarded Western Conference Rookie of the Month award for March/April games. He averaged 22.6 points per game during that span while shooting 48% from the field and 39% on 3-pointers.

Although the Rockets came up short this season, Green still believes that the team will be ready to take that next step relatively soon.

“We already went through a whole season, and obviously it did not turn out how we wanted it to,” said Green, who joined the team’s community event Thursday. “I think we are all on board on what we need to do to get to that next step. That next level to get more wins in our bag.”

Green, 20, elaborated more when asked about the importance of the first summer offseason for him and some of his fellow teammates.

“It’s super important for us because it’s a rebuild,” Green said. “Everyone is about to lock in this summer, and everyone is about to get better.”

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