Houston Rockets: Does Tarik Black deserve more minutes?

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 16: Tarik Black
HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 16: Tarik Black /

The rotation of the Rockets is pretty thin at the moment. Should they give one backup center more minutes?

During the summer, backup center Montrezl Harrell was traded to the Clippers as a part of the Chris Paul deal. Tarik Black was signed to fill the role that Trez had last season with the Rockets.

Last year, Harrell played heavy minutes whenever Nene Hilario was resting or whenever Clint Capela was injured. Coach D’Antoni trusted him enough to play him with the regulars.

So far this season, Tarik Black is averaging a career-low in minutes (8.2), so his other stats are suffering. Aside from last game, he has played decently for the Rockets in such limited time. He doesn’t get that much playing time, even when Nene is out. Should MDA trust Black in the same way he trusted Trez?

Let’s look at the pros and cons of giving Black more minutes:


This is all you need to know:

Tarik Black with the SLAM!pic.twitter.com/ukIYV78xQP

— MyNBAUpdate (@MyNBAUpdate) December 17, 2017

Just kidding, but that was an incredible play by Tarik.

In reality, Black is a good young player who can do similar things that Montrezl Harrell did last season (and some things better). He is a hustle player who will go after loose balls and rebounds, someone the second unit could definitely use. He can finish dunks in traffic off of lobs at a high percentage.

Black will give you quality minutes off of the bench most nights, so maybe the Rockets should look to play him a little more.


Tarik Black is a foul machine for the Rockets this season. If you stretch out his current production to 36 minutes, he would be averaging 8 fouls per game. 8!

Black also has some rough moments on the court. He is still a young player, but his inexperience shows in some aspects of the game. Let’s use last game as an example: Black was had thrown down that monster dunk in the game before, so he had gained some confidence. He was cutting to the basket and caught the ball. Instead of dribbling and laying it up or passing it out, Tarik looked like he was trying to gain momentum to dunk it hard again. He took about 5 steps and was called for a travel.

Moments like this likely make it tough for D’Antoni to give Black more minutes. He had 2 turnovers in 3 minutes last game.

Tarik Black is a good young player that probably deserves a little bit more run during the games. With the way the rotation of the Rockets is being stretched right now, they could really use him. Clint Capela is out for the team tonight along with Luc Mbah a Moute, so look for Tarik to try to prove himself tonight.

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