Houston Rockets: Isaiah Hartenstein finally starting his rise in the rotation

Houston Rockets center Isaiah Hartenstein (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets center Isaiah Hartenstein (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

Houston Rockets center Isaiah Hartenstein has been starting to rise in the rotation with Clint Capela’s recent injury. Could this be the start of something?

It was unfortunate to see the Houston Rockets fall to the New Orleans Pelicans last night 127-112.  Although the Pels have a scrappy, young team ahead of them this team should’ve been able to beat them despite not having James Harden, Russell Westbrook and Clint Capela.

I’m sure Mike D’Antoni is watching the load management of Harden as well as Westbrook and Capela has been reeling from a heel contusion for the past couple of games.  If this was a game that Harden and Westbrook needed to be available for, I’m sure they would’ve played but it’s perfectly fine because they need their rest as well.

With a game that involved just seven lead changes, seven ties and the Houston Rockets leading by as much as nine points, it was not enough for the Pels, that led by as much 19 points when it was all said and done.

Although the score to the game was something we all didn’t want to see, there were some positives that came out of it.

The biggest would be the rise of Isaiah Hartenstein, who has been asked to fill-in for Capela’s void while he heals from his injury.  D’Antoni loves his veterans and Tyson Chandler got the start against the Brooklyn Nets Saturday night but Hartenstein has provided a unique spark for the Houston Rockets for these past two games.

Hartenstein had 24 minutes of action against the Nets and he was able to put up nine points and 13 rebounds in that span of time.

But it got better…

The 21-year-old, 7-foot, 249-pound center that was a 2nd round pick in the 2017 NBA Draft out of Germany followed up his strong performance Saturday with another one last night, putting up 19 points and nine rebounds in 34 minutes of action.

He’s got to watch his fouls though because he had four each in these past two games.

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So the best synopsis from this meteoric rise out of this young gun is that it’s about time because this was the role that the Houston Rockets had envisioned for him.

Although I can’t rule out the possibility this rise being a double-edged sword for him because it could increase his trade value if Daryl Morey wants to make a deal before the February deadline, it’s just good to know that the Houston Rockets have a reliable backup in the paint outside of Chandler to get the job done.

In addition, knowing that Hartenstein can produce, this will prevent the Houston Rockets from trying to rush Capela back with him playing hurt and Hartenstein has his opportunity to shine, a moment that we all know that he’s been waiting for since he was drafted some two seasons ago.

Next. William Howard is definitely worth a look under the hood. dark

I’m actually intrigued with his progress so I’m for the best for this guy.

Hartenstein has averaged 14 points and 11 rebounds as well as 29 minutes of action over the past two games.