The Rockets‘ young backcourt hasn’t produced many wins this season, but Kevin Porter Jr. believes he and Jalen Green have a bright future, writes Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. Porter is in his first full season as a point guard after learning the position after being acquired from the Cavaliers last year. Green, the No. 2 pick in the 2021 draft, has endured an up-and-down rookie season, but has been producing points lately at a much more efficient rate.
“We need momentum going into next year,” Porter said. “Finishing off the season — not even (for) next year — finishing off the season, we want to finish the right way. … We want to take it real serious and try to win each and every game. We’re going to try to jell, me and J’s chemistry on the court, because next year we’ve got to be scary. We’re going to be scary.”
Porter had to leave Friday’s game at Orlando after rolling his left ankle in the third quarter, but coach Stephen Silas said it’s just a routine sprain, according to Danielle Lerner of The Houston Chronicle. Porter was held out of practice today to receive treatment and will be a game-time decision on Sunday.
There’s more on the Rockets:
- With his team well out of the playoff race, Silas will focus on improving the defense over the rest of the regular season, per Kelly Iko of The Athletic. The Rockets rank 29th in the league in points allowed in the paint and are the worst in the league by far in that statistic since the start of January. “I might try a few new things,” Silas said. “But it has been the rim, the restricted area, where teams are getting to the restricted area and shooting 60-something percent at the rim. So our rim protection has to be better, which means our bigger guys are lower and closer to the rim. That’s something that I’m going to be be toying around with.”
- One pleasant surprise this season has been the emergence of rookie guard Josh Christopher, Iko adds. Even though Christopher only plays 16.5 minutes per night, the Rockets have been 5.8 points better when he’s on the court. Iko sees him developing into a valuable role player in Houston, possibly as a smaller version of Danuel House.
- Armoni Brooks, who was waived to accommodate a three-for-one trade with the Celtics at the deadline, has joined the College Park Skyhawks in the G League, Iko tweets. He adds that Brooks declined several two-way contract offers and may still have a future with the Rockets.