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Houston Rockets: 3 way-too-early bold predictions for the 2021-22 NBA season

Jalen Green, John Wall, Christian Wood, Rockets

Though it might be a tough ask, the young Houston Rockets might be poised to make a huge splash this coming 2021-22 NBA season. With the leadership of John Wall and young guys like Christian Wood, Kevin Porter, Jr., and this year’s second overall pick Jalen Green, the stage is set for the Rockets to make some noise over at H-Town.

Expectations are low for Houston and we all know how players who play with a chip on their shoulder usually thrive in these types of scenarios. And, there aren’t a lot of teams with a handful of players who are itching to make a mark this season than the 21-22 Rockets. With a potential starting lineup that consists of Wall, Green, Tate, Wood, and whoever head coach Stephen Silas puts it at the 4/5 spot, look for these explosive Rockets to play with a ton of confidence and a nothing-to-lose attitude.

Here are three way-too-early bold predictions for Houston’s upcoming season:

3. Jalen Green wins ROTY

Let’s start with one of the brightest young stars in the league – Jalen Geen. The 19-year-old has been under the spotlight for the past few years and his one-year stint in the G League with the Ignite squad only made things even better for the Filipino-American. Speaking of players that have a chip on their shoulders, Green plays with a massive one. The California native is oozing with confidence coming into his rookie season in the NBA and his playing style should slot in perfectly with that of the current Rockets roster.

Here’s a sneak peak from Green’s impressive Summer League stint (via NBA):

Green is part of a very talented rookie class but the young swingman has the makings to finish the season on top. Even with the likes of Cade Cunningham, Jalen Suggs, and his former teammate Jonathan Kuminga, Green has shown so far that he is the most NBA-ready talent coming into the league this season which perfectly sets him up for a wild debut year.

My not-so-bold prediction? Jalen Green ends the season averaging 20+ points per game with a handful of rebounds and dimes. He’s probably going to end up with a shooting clip close to 40% which should make him the runaway winner of the ROTY award.

2. Jae’Sean Tate finally makes his All-Defensive Team appearance

Another young talent we should all be watching is second-year forward Jae’Sean Tate. Tate, who was relatively old compared to his rookie class last season, played like his age. The 25-year-old was impressive in his rookie season starting most of his games for the Rockets. Although the Ohio State standout was pretty solid on offense, it was on the defensive end where he really stamped his class.

For a huge chunk of the season, Tate was actually leading the steals in steals and ended with an average of 1.2 steals per game. Tate was also tasked to guard the best perimeter players on the opposing squad, putting the clamps on players like Kyrie Irving and Trae Young.

Tate can even lock down a crafty guard like Luka Doncic (via Steve Jones):

Despite being named as an All-Rookie First Team member, a lot of fans were saying that the rookie was still robbed of an All-Defensive Team selection. With the Rockets defense relying heavily on him this season, don’t be shocked if we finally see Tate where he belongs as a member of the NBA All-Defensive Team.

1. Houston lands a play-in slot

This might be a stretch but I do believe that the Houston Rockets, if healthy, have a chance of making it to at least a play-in spot at the end of the 21-22 regular season. If things go as planned, the team’s main playmaker in John Wall will be leading the way and will be back to his All-Star self. The young guns – Jalen Green, Jae’Sean Tate, and Kevin Porter, Jr. will find their groove and be an explosive part of the roster. Lastly, Christian Wood will have another monster season and end up with a 20-10 average through the course of the regular season.

If things pan out this way, then surely we’ll be seeing these Rockets fight for at least a play-in slot. Though it might be tough for this young line-up to excel in the playoffs, competing for a slot at the play-in tournament at the end of the regular season will be huge for the development of this young team. They will get their reps in and hopefully develop into a solid unit in the coming seasons.


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