This offseason, Jalen Green decided to do some work on his jumper with assistant coach John Lucas heading into his sophomore season with the Houston Rockets. Those changes have reportedly been noticed in his daily drills. Green has tweaked his shot more than revamped it, but the differences are apparent.
The former No. 2 overall pick jump shot is more squared to the basket, there’s no turn, and the release is quicker. Green has also used a folding chair in front of him or to the back. The chairs help Green get low and load up for his jump shot and break some habits that helped him gain a quicker and tighter release.
“Me and (Rockets assistant coach John Lucas) were in the gym all the time, working on my shot,” Green said, per the Houston Chronicle. “It’s the quickness of it. I feel I’ve always been a shooter, always been a shot creator. Just the quickness and working on my hips.”
The results have helped him get his shots off in catch-and-shot situations when a defender closing out could’ve rushed his shots before or make it too mechanical. On Monday, Green went 5-10 from beyond the arc and scored 25 points in 28 minutes of action against the Miami Heat. Green says the revised shot comes naturally after an offseason full of morning shooting drills that helped him hone his refined jumper.
JG came out FIRING tonight 🔥 pic.twitter.com/RdbquveDZw— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) October 10, 2022
During his shooting drills with Lucas, the longtime coach repeatedly shouted, “one, two!” The shot needed to be out of Green’s hands before “two” came out, preferable in the time it takes to go from Lucas’ voice to Green’s ears.
“At first, it’s pretty annoying, especially when he puts the chair behind me,” Green said. “Have to get low and load back up. But it’ll all pay off at the end of the day.”
The player-coach pairing has tweaked Green’s shot without an extreme change; the chair keeps him squared to the basket when it’s in front of Green, unable to lower the ball too far, making his shot more efficient since any unnecessary movement has been removed.
The quicker release has also made life easier when Green is in catch-and-shoot situations when a close-out defender could force Green to rush his shot.
“Jalen has to get square,” Lucas said. “He sometimes turns because I think as a kid, he used to bring the ball (down to his hip.) As he gets older and stronger, he’ll come around. What we’re doing is straightening him up, straight line, straight line to the basket. It seems to be helping him. And we’re using a one-second count.”
.@JalenGreen in the first half:— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) October 11, 2022
18 PTS | 4 AST | 3 REB pic.twitter.com/l6RknVGDWq
Through three preseason contests, Green has hit 39.1 percent of his long-distance attempts, nearly mirroring the 39.3 percent rate he hit from beyond the arc during his rookie season. Lucas said Green would keep getting stronger and need to get in even better shape to handle the scoring load that Coach Stephen Silas will ask him to handle this season.
“I try to be as coachable as possible because I know it’s coming from a good place with Lucas,” Green said. “His expectations are super high. I get a taste of it every practice.”
This process will be aided by Green’s shooting drills with Lucas and more folding chairs, forcing him out of his comfort zone. During a recent Sunday practice, Lucas said Green shot the ball so well that he “would have paid to watch it.” On Monday, Green scored 11 points in his first 7.5 minutes of play, making 3-4 triples to begin the game. He finished the game with 23 points on 4-9 shooting three-point territory. He also dished five assists.
“I went into last game (when he had 23 points, making 4 of 9 3s) wanting to get my rhythm,” Green said. “I think I did that. Coaches know what they want. As a primary scorer, I should get my shots off. Just trying things, working on my game.”
JG, again 💦 pic.twitter.com/jFKNipwavG— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) October 11, 2022
The Rockets open the season on the road against the Atlanta Hawks.