The Houston Rockets have an X-Factor that hasn’t been activated yet.
The Houston Rockets have been a real surprise for most people during the start of this 2023-24 NBA season. And although he has missed over half the games so far, Tari Eason is someone who can provide real value for a competitive Rockets team. He’s somewhat of a hidden X-Factor for the team that hasn’t been unveiled yet.
Last season, Eason already showed immense value as the 17th pick in the draft. Eason provided Houston with great energy off the bench, showcasing his athleticism, and defense which ultimately earned him All-Rookie Second Team. Not only that, but he was extremely durable playing all 82 games, something that is increasingly uncommon in the modern NBA.
Eason did happen to miss the first six games of this year with a left leg injury, but his performances when he has featured have been really encouraging.
Tari Eason’s early-season impact on the Houston Rockets
Despite being absent for those six games, Eason has jumped right into a rotational role for a deep Rockets team. In his five games this season Eason is averaging six points and six rebounds on 45 percent shooting from the field and 38 percent shooting from 3-point range.
He happened to have his best outing of the season a few nights ago against the LA Clippers in which he finished with 12 points, six rebounds, and two blocks on 6-9 shooting from the field. He showcased his signature athleticism and energy all night, but specifically in the second half he was great. He made a few shots, played solid defense, and absolutely baptized Daniel Theis to ignite a Houston run.
Eason’s outing against the Clipps is something that should become a regular occurrence this season. He probably won’t average as many points as he did last year but that doesn’t matter. It will be a great experience for him to get minutes on a team that actually will win some games.
What we should look out for is skill development, improved decision-making with the ball in his hands, and for him to knock down some more threes. If he can do 60 percent of both those things, while maintaining his current drive and energy, Eason will be a valuable piece in this Houston Rockets core for many years to come.