Despite the “tanking” status for 2022, the Houston Rockets have some drama on their plate in the last few weeks. Many fans were starting to be concerned that their young players weren’t developing the right way. Now, it seems like a former Rocket has confirmed what many have already observed: Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr.are not playing the right way, Austin Rivers told Michael Shapiro.
Former Rockets guard Austin Rivers: “Somebody needs to teach KPJ and Jalen how to play the right way. … They need those vets. I like those guys, they’re super talented, they can really score. … They need someone to help them take that next step.”
In particular, Rivers critiqued the Rockets’ guards’ penchant for playing too much isolation. The ex-Houston guard wants Kevin Porter Jr and Jalen Green to lead when to make the extra pass and make the right read on offense. These are critical skills that need to be learned by all players, including lead guards like KPJ and Green.
Rivers would know the importance of having great instincts in scramble situations. The Rockets team with him featured heavy isolation from James Harden and Chris Paul, yes. However, once defenses broke down, all the other players had to be alert and ready to either shoot or ping the ball to the open man. This is especially true when Harden got doubled, and the Rockets feasted on these 4-v-3 opportunities given to them.
Kevin Porter Jr and Jalen Green are the future of the Rockets. However, they need to make sure that these young players are not developing bad habits on the court.