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Houston Rockets 2018-2019 player recaps: Gerald Green

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Green’s Houston to the core, but his contract is up. Do the Rockets bring him back?

NBA: Playoffs-Golden State Warriors at Houston Rockets Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Gerald Green is the quintessential microwave man. He can heat up in big hurry, spearheading fast runs and a blizzard of threes. On top of that, he bleeds H-town to the bone and loves playing for his hometown Houston Rockets.

And he showed off those microwave skills on multiple occasions in the 2018-2019 season. During an 11-game stretch from New Year’s Eve through January 21, when the Rockets were dealing with injuries, Green scored double-digits nine times, hit 5 or more triples three times, and averaged 14.5 points per game during that span.

He also went for a season-high 25 and 7 triples in a February win over the Utah Jazz and followed that up just two days later with 25 more and another 4 threes in a win over the Sacramento Kings.

He hit three or more triples 24 times this season and knocked down 156 of them for the year in just 20 minutes per night. His willingness to shoot at will and without conscious makes him a perfect fit for Mike D’Antoni’s “keep on shooting ‘em till you start making ‘em” philosophy.

Unfortunately, that same penchant for running and gunning also made him a liability in the postseason, particularly against the Golden State Warriors, when it felt like each possession was a knockdown drag out and taking good shots was imperative. In addition, Green’s defensive issues couldn’t be hidden against an opponent like the Dubs.

He played just 43 minutes in the six-game series, and in his most extended court time in the deciding Game 6, he made several terrible shooting decisions and a few with the ball that helped contribute to Houston’s loss.

With Green’s one-year, minimum salary deal expiring, it becomes decision time for the Rockets. If Green gets any legitimate interest in free agency, you have to let him walk. Green’s numbers were down overall in just about every category from the previous year, and his inability to contribute in the playoffs limits his value.

However, with Houston’s payroll extremely top heavy, the Rockets won’t have much to work with to fill out the fringes of their roster and will be in need of some minimum salary guys. If Green’s willing to take the minimum again to stay in his hometown, I think you bring him back.

He can still contribute in the regular season if he’s shooting well, and he’s also a great locker room guy. He knows his role, and he’s happy deferring to the team’s stars. Green’s not just a player, he’s a Rockets fan first and foremost. So that makes him one of us.

Who doesn’t want a guy like that on the team?