Can Jalen Green fill the shoes of Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant? September 22, 2022 admin SPORTS 0 With NBA action just weeks away, we’re answering readers’ questions—about all things rocket– What could be a really big season for Houston. You are welcome here cron sports mailbag, This is a funny question to me because there is a lot of pre-draft discussion around Jalen Green revolves around his prototypical star shooting guard traits—his 6-foot-6 height, awkward athleticism, and well-trodden work ethic. Bundle it with Greene’s red carpet looks and charisma, and it was hard to resist Michael/Kobe comparison. After watching Green closely for an entire season, I’ll throw in another name: Steph Curry. Green’s fluidity, and his ability to shoot threes with a dribble and create separation with his stepback, is reminiscent of the Warriors’ all-timer. Green also showed that he is very comfortable walking without the ball, perhaps my most surprising observation during the Summer League last season. It’s funny, if you had asked me this question after Summer League last season, I would have said reminded me of Richard Hamilton Because of how far he went without the ball. It speaks of the fact that Green is constantly evolving. Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon (10) brings the ball up in the first half during an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday, January 19, 2022 in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bomer)Rick Bomer / The Associated Press What’s your guess on total wins this year (assuming we have Eric Gordon by the trade deadline) – @cw_houston I had a moment of weakness after the Summer League this year when I thought the Rockets could exceed expectations and win about 30 games. However, I am back to my senses and will bring my hopes closer to 25 wins. The reasoning behind my fleeting optimism was the defensive performances of rookie Jabari Smith Jr. and Tari Iason—I thought it was possible that the pair’s defensive ability could lift the team’s floor higher than it would otherwise for such a young roster. As the question implies, many things Eric Gordon hangs on, who is still the team’s best player—a statement that shouldn’t be controversial, but will be surprising to some. Trading Christian Wood was subtraction-by-addition and should only help. Let’s go with 25 wins. You get to pair Green and Jabari with any other Houston team 3-15. Which do you think works best? — @drubowen First, let me name the third best player on every Rocket team in the modern era. Here is the list of contenders: Title era: Sam Casella/Otis Thorpe/Vernon Maxwell/Mario Alley Big 3 Era: clyde drexler Francis was: kattino mobli McGrady Era: Shane Battier / Ron Artest / Luis Scola Wandering in the Desert Aimless Era: Aaron Brooks/Kevin Martin/Chandler Parsons harsh era: Clint Capella / Eric Gordon Some players are originally here. In modern times, Otis Thorpe, Clint Capella and Luis Scola are “big”. Vernon Maxwell, Clyde Drexler, Cuttino Mobley, Kevin Martin and Eric Gordon are starting caliber wings that, in addition to Martin, can all score at high levels and also defend. Mario Alli, Shane Battier and Ron Artest are elite defensive specialists. Chandler Parsons is a potential smallball four who can do everything from playmaking to shooting. And Sam Cassell and Aaron Brooks are the scoring point guards. I think the most influential player in this group might actually be Shane Battier. However, I expect Smith to have a similar impact in terms of a combination of outdoor shooting and defensive intelligence on the periphery. Maxwell, Drexler, Mobley, Martinum and Gordon are unnecessary with Green’s appearance as a budding star in the Shooting Guard; And Tari Eason and J’Sean Tate fill a role that Ellie and Artest would have filled otherwise. Scola with Alpern Sengun is redundant here and I’m not sure how well Thorpe’s game would translate to the modern NBA. I’d go with Cassell. Yes, he was a shoot-first point guard, but his teams always achieved more and was as clutch as he came, especially in the post season. He was a true leader, something that this young team still lacks, at least in the face of things. Do you see Silas as a long term coach? — @nerman_optis It is too early to tell now. But I hope he becomes the coach at least by the end of the 2023-2024 season. He hasn’t been given the most optimal position in the last few seasons, with the management clearly prioritizing internal growth and development. This time is enough to prove yourself. I was very vocal in expressing my displeasure over many of Silas’ decisions last season, many of which I found utterly head-scratching, from not using Sengun’s talents properly until he pulled the plug on the lineup. Waited for, waited till then. Including Daniel Thies. Silas signed on thinking he would coach a team of James Harden and Russell Westbrook that would be competing for a title. He is entitled to the benefit of time and the benefit of the roster with the intent to compete. TORONTO, ON – APRIL 8: Jalen Green #0 of the Houston Rockets dribbles against the Toronto Raptors during the first half of their basketball game at Scotiabank Arena on April 8, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images) Mark Blinch/Getty Images What can the Rockets learn from the way the Astros have managed through their continued success over the years? — @ihavepops The Rockets have already followed the Astros’ tear-down model, which resulted in the latter club getting three consecutive first overall picks, laying the foundation for their rebuild. After placing Green second overall in 2021 and third overall in 2022, the Rockets are hoping they can add a third prized possession through next summer’s draft. But despite their continued success during this historic race, the Astros have been selective in the talent they have chosen to retain, letting George Springer, Carlos Correa and Gerrit Cole go into free agency, but long-term expansion for Jose. agreed to the terms. Altuve, Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez, and Lance McCullers Jr. If the Rockets’ young talent turns out to be like the Astros—big if here, compare a fledgling rebuild to a league powerhouse—then they’ll have tough financial decisions to make because of the NBA’s salary cap. However, I’m not sure that talent has changed in the NBA as much as it has in baseball.