SUMMER LEAGUE

Here's what we learned from the Green-Cunningham Summer League duel

The Rockets beat the Pistons, 111-91. Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images.

So far, Jalen Green has looked impressive in the Summer League for the Houston Rockets. He has been able to have incredible performances against Cade Cunningham and Evan Mobley, which both, including Green went 1-3 in the NBA 2021 Draft. Green has marveled with scoring, made the right plays, and has shown defensive awareness. He even impressed spectators with his athleticism.

Green flashed the ability to be aggressive and knowing how to control the pace of the game. Every superstar knows the importance of pace in the NBA. That's the best weapon to have. Although it's Summer League, teams are fully committed to guarding Green. On different occasions, the Detroit Pistons blitzed Green on pick-and-roll situations. As the Pistons blitzed, Green made the right play by finding Alperen Sengun slipping and rolling towards the basket. Green said:

"I got blitzed and I had to adjust to that. It was a different adjustment for me, but I still won that battle."

Green mentioned that he wasn't comfortable in pick-and-roll situations, but looked better from the previous night. "I wasn't very comfortable early, but I started to figure it out towards the end," Green said. Although Green wasn't bad at pick-and-roll versus the Cleveland Cavaliers, he was hesitant. In the NBA, guards cannot overthink the two-man action because it becomes their bread-and-butter.

While playing the Cavaliers, Green did show the ability to find KJ Martin for easy slips towards the basket and his teammates amongst wings, as the defense was shifted up towards him. As Green gains more experience in the NBA, he'll continue to get better at pick-and-roll. Green made the right plays versus the Pistons, as Will Weaver loved his maturity. Weaver said:

"I saw him drive winning. I saw him pass to teammates. I saw him make the right plays. I continue to be really impressed with his approach."

Announcers and spectators already believe in the scoring ability of Green, as he continues to marvel in that aspect of his game. In two games, Green is averaging 24 points per game with shooting splits of 52/50/92 percent from the floor. Green has great touch around the rim and off his jump shots. Versus the Cavaliers, Green used his full arsenal of off the dribble shooting and drive-bys past defenders. His first step is incredible because of his quickness.

Green performed well by coming off screens and scoring on catch-and-shoot opportunities. Like James Harden and Kevin Porter Jr., he operates well with the step-back from wherever on the court while playing offense. He made bizarre shots with the clock running down. Green's athleticism has been on full display throughout this tournament.

He had an unbelievable stat line versus the Pistons because he only took six shots and still scored 23 points. The Pistons and Cavaliers' defenses have shifted up towards Green, so it creates problems. Green had to relax himself, as he had three early turnovers in the first quarter against the Pistons. As Green became aware, he managed to be aggressive, so it could put him at the free throw line and take open looks from three, which hurt the Pistons throughout the night. Green's IQ needs to be accounted for, like his maturity.

Green has also shown the ability to defend well in one-on-one situations and as a switch defender. He mentioned that defense was his main concern in the NBA. Like his buddy Josh Christopher, Green wants to be a two-way player in the NBA. His wingspan and quickness will allow him to do that. He also has a knack of being good in the passing lanes, which is great for zone defense.

Hopefully, Green continues to impress as he could be the next superstar in a Rockets' uniform. He has the potential, but needs to continue this tremendous play.

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TEXANS MAKE SURPRISING CUT

Texans to release prominent player on defense

Zach Cunningham is on his way out of Houston. Composite image by Jack Brame.

According to multiple reports, the Texans are waiving LB Zach Cunningham. Cunningham was benched last Sunday for disciplinary reasons, which reportedly stemmed from a missed COVID test. Cunningham was also benched for a quarter earlier in the season for breaking team rules.

According to Ian Rapoport, the Texans will have to eat his 12.8 million dollar cap hit next season.

Cunningham started in seven of the 10 games he’s played this season recording 67 tackles and a forced fumble. The Texans are at a point where there's hardly anyone left on the team that has any name recognition with what's left of the fan base. And now the Texans have another position that will have to be addressed this offseason.

Cunningham will likely command a lot of attention from other teams interested in his services.

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