MANILA, Philippines -- Through eight games in the NBA G League season, Filipino-American guard Jalen Green has emerged as the leading scorer for Team Ignite.
After a slow start in his first game where he managed just 11 points on 4-of-10 shooting, Green has found his rhythm and strung together a series of solid performances. He has showcased his scoring touch, averaging 17.6 points per game while shooting 50.5% from the field, including 37.5% from long range.
Brian Shaw, head coach of Team Ignite, said on Tuesday that he is pleased with how Green has been progressing. The explosive guard was efficient in Ignite's most recent game, nailing eight of his 12 shots for 21 points in a 109-97 loss to Long Island. It was just one point off his career-best, set last February 15 against Iowa when Green made five of 11 field goals for 22 points, six rebounds, and five assists in a 97-90 win.
"He's a quick study. You know, quick learner, and he is probably one of our most competitive guys that we have on the floor," Shaw said of the 19-year-old Green, who is being projected as a top five pick in the upcoming NBA Rookie Draft.
"He was very efficient, he's been efficient for the most part, but efficient with his scoring tonight," he added.
Shaw stressed that he is not at all worried about Green's offense, as the young player has shown that he can score at every level. What impressed the coach is Green's improvement on the other end of the floor.
The coach noted that Green is "getting better and better defensively," and learning the intricacies of an NBA-caliber defense.
"Playing the guard spot on this level is tough, and a lot of times, he starts out guarding the other team's point guard," he said.
"You know, for a young player, figuring out how to navigate over and around screen-and-rolls and pindowns, especially with his slight build, taking all of those bumps, I have been happy with his progress that he's making on the defensive end," he added.
The one critique that Shaw had for Green was that he didn't register a single assist in their loss to Long Island, although the coach acknowledged that it was a team-wide issue. Green is currently averaging 2.5 assists along with 4.8 rebounds per game.
"Jalen's fine, he's doing great, as are all our young guys," said Shaw.
Green, for his part, said he will just keep working.
"There's always room for improvement, to get better," said the young guard. "If you want specifics -- defense, my shot, just knowing how to play. I had zero assists. There's a lot to get better at."
Green and Team Ignite return to action on Wednesday afternoon in Orlando (Thursday morning in Manila) against the Memphis Hustle.