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Jalen Green Reveals Houston Rockets Game Plan Was Playing Iso Ball Against Carmelo Anthony

Jalen Green Reveals Houston Rockets Game Plan Was Playing ISO Ball Against Carmelo Anthony

The Houston Rockets are a franchise that were contenders in the NBA for the better part of the 2010s decade. However, losing star guard James Harden last season drew the curtain on their championship aspirations as the team settled in for a rebuild with the #2 overall pick in the 2021 Draft. Jalen Green being one of the new franchise cornerstones.

Green had a slow start to his rookie year but has taken an offensive leap post-All-Star Weekend, averaging 21.7 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 3.2 assists in the last 9 games. These performances weren't translating into wins, but the Rockets just toppled the Los Angeles Lakers with a returning LeBron James in double-overtime.

Green was the catalyst for the win, taking over in 2OT as the Lakers got outworked in the loss. However, there was a clear offensive focus for the Rockets all game long as Jalen Green revealed in his post-game interview. 

This isn't the first time this year that Carmelo Anthony has been targeted for his poor defense, as the Lakers have struggled defensively all season long. Anthony has a 111.8 defensive rating, but that is also by virtue of being a part of many lineups with the Lakers' best defenders in LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Dwight Howard.  

Green's late-game pick-n-roll to switch onto Carmelo worked perfectly for the Rockets and allowed them to steal the game away from the Lakers who played at a much slower pace compared to their younger opponents. Being outworked by hungrier teams has been a problem for the Lakers all season long, and this game is another example of this team not being ready for a championship run.

Green's form has come too late in the season for him to be in Rookie of the Year conversation over Evan Mobley, Cade Cunningham, or Josh Giddey, but games like this show that the Rockets may have a diamond in the rough developing on their team.