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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The Houston Texans have just a couple of practices before their preseason debut. Here are 11 observations from Tuesday’s workout.

1.The offense stunk on Tuesday. It was inconsistent and resembled more of last year’s disappointing performances than any other practices in this training camp.

2. Davis Mills and his receivers had a few miscommunications on Tuesday. Mills sailed a pass to nobody when he and Brandin Cooks weren’t on the same page. There were some other throws to nowhere in the day. It was something that hadn’t been present at all in training camp to this point.

3. There were a few “good coverage” notes on Tuesday. Not to say there was one specific player, but a handful of team-level efforts that led to the note.

4. It wasn’t all wrong from the offense. After a pass to nowhere Davis Mills and the offense bounced back. It was a second down during a team drill and Mills fired a pass to Chris Moore for six yards. Rex Burkhead would pick up a first down on a rush a play later. A non-positive play last year on first down doomed this team. That hopefully won’t be the case for this year’s team.

5. Chad Beebe is going into his fifth season in the NFL, his first with the Texans. The former Vikings pass catcher has flashed a few times in training camp. He has an uphill battle being new to the team but is trying to make himself a factor.

6. Phillip Dorsett had a big catch over the middle. Davis Mills stood back and delivered as the offensive line held up and Dorsett reeled it in for a huge gain. No defenders were around him. It is between Dorsett and Chris Moore for the chance to be the slot wideout opening day. With Dorsett’s return to practice, it is becoming a fun camp battle.

7.Speaking of returns to practice, Tytus Howard was back. Howard has his reps managed and after practice, offensive line coach George Warhop Howard was “getting his wind” back. When Howard was having his reps managed rookie tackle Austin Deculus played at right tackle. Deculus looks much more consistent than minicamp and OTAs.

8. Kenyon Green is still out with an injury. It is getting to a critical time where the time missed might prevent the first-rounder from starting week one. Max Scharping hasn’t looked bad in his chances with the first team. Offensive line coach George Warhop said they believe in Green and his ability and he has been in meetings to stay up to date.

9. Ka’imi Fairbairn was perfect in one of the special team periods. He drilled all five kicks, each further than the last, and was crushing the football.

10. Derek Stingley was very sticky in some early reps on Nico Collins. The third overall pick is so smooth when he is working. Later his coverage forced a throw from the offense that had no chance of being completed.

11. The play of the day was made by Derek Stingley. The offense was about five or six yards out of the end zone needing a touchdown to win. With six seconds left on the clock, any completed pass that wasn’t a touchdown was game over. Davis Mills dropped back a step and fired to Nico Collins who Stingley covered. The rookie kept the second-year player out of the end zone to earn the defense a win. This was one of the better Stingley days and he did a lot of work. At one point, it looked as though he and Rex Burkhead had some words and almost led to an offense and defense scuffle, but it stayed to just some shouting. The rookie shined today.

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