Jalen Green vocal on Carmelo Anthony game plan that sealed Rockets win over LeBron, Lakers
Jalen Green torched the Los Angeles Lakers in an unexpected 119-110 win on Wednesday night. The Houston Rockets rookie wasn’t bashful to share what their game plan was heading into the game – attack Carmelo Anthony.
Jalen Green was vocal on the Rockets hunting for the Lakers veteran on the stretch.
Via The Athletic:
“The game plan was to attack Melo. Put him in isolation,” said Green on targeting the Lakers vet.
Green certainly delivered on his end of the bargain as he poured in a game-high 32 points, including 19 points in the fourth quarter and overtime. He even scored the first seven points in OT to bury the Lakers in an extra period hole they couldn’t get out of.
Carmelo Anthony didn’t have an evidently terrible game by the traditional box score metrics. He finished with 13 points and six rebounds in 30 minutes off the Lakers bench, on what was a below-averaging 5-for-13 shooting clip. He did however end up with a -14 plus/minus rating during his time on the court.
That ranked second worst on the Lakers just behind LeBron James, who had himself a rare off night from an offensive standpoint. King James ended up with just 23 points. While he did post a triple-double with 14 rebounds and 12 assists, not to mention four emphatic blocks on the defensive end, he shot a miserable 9-for-26 from the floor and made just one of his nine three-point attempts on the evening.
LeBron James had to give it up to Jalen Green on the night. The Lakers star spoke at length about the special player he sees in Green emerging in his first season in Houston.
Via Rockets reporter Adam Spolane:
LeBron James on Jalen Green: “He has great shot making ability. Everybody looks at his athletic ability, but his ability to make shots, he’s been doing this for quite a long time now, going all the way back to high school.”
“I feel like he’s just getting better and better, and the great thing about him being (in Houston) is they’re a super young group besides a few guys, and it’s allowing him to make mistakes and learn on the fly, and that’s definitely gonna benefit him”
It hasn’t always been pretty for the Jalen Green this season. Until recently, his shooting percentage has been below 40% and had a tendency to force the issue on offense instead of letting the game come to him. But he’s slowly started to find his footing of late, scoring at least 20 points in seven of his last nine games, capped off by his career-high showing against the Lakers.
Jalen Green has sky-high expectations for himself. That’s why even in a game wherein he faced a Lakers team with the best player of this generation, his goal to be the best player on the court didn’t change.
“I want to be the best in this game,” said Jalen Green on facing off against LeBron James. “You have to go against the best to be the best.”
Jalen Green has a long way to go before being considered one of the best. But if he can consistently channel this dangerous side he showcased in the win over the Lakers, getting there is only a matter of time.