Houston Rockets: Who should have the backup center job?
The Houston Rockets made a change to the rotation yesterday, using a different player as the first center off the bench. Who should have the job moving forward?
In a loss to the Washington Wizards last night, the Houston Rockets elected to use Marquese Chriss as opposed to Isaiah Hartenstein as the backup center. This change wasn’t significant, however, as Hartenstein played as well but the two combined for just 12 minutes.
So who should have the job? Should it be no one or a limited role? Let’s look at the possibilities:
The case for Isaiah Hartenstein
Hartenstein signed a three-year deal this summer and was expected to develop a bit more in the G League this season. That hasn’t been the case, as he was thrust into the backup center role early on with the injury to Nene.
He has had some good games and some games where he looked a bit lost. He always brings the effort, though, which is nice to see from that role. He has some offensive moves but still needs to develop a bit on both ends.
Keeping him in this role allows him to grow into the player the Rockets want him to be. He has shown the ability to do just about everything, even knocking down a gut-wrenching 3 against the Warriors.
The case for Marquese Chriss
Marquese Chriss was acquired this summer when the Rockets sent Ryan Anderson and De’Anthony Melton over to the Phoenix Suns. He is a former top ten pick but hasn’t lived up to his expectations.
In Houston, he has had the chance to play with some great guards and try to reinvent himself as a player. Once again, he hasn’t quite lived up to those expectations and hasn’t been great on either end.
Chriss has more upside than Hartenstein, arguably, so putting him into the rotation could be a great thing in the long run for Houston. He showed flashes of greatness last season in Phoenix, as well.
The Rockets also could elect to go with “neither” here. Both have had their inconsistencies and have trouble on the glass. The Rockets could look to trade for another piece, or wait for Nene to come back healthy and use him.
The Rockets will also likely be looking at this position during the buyout market later in the season. That may be where they have to find their guy, but they could also trade for someone like Dewayne Dedmon sooner rather than later.
Rebounding, as I talked about in an earlier article, is a huge issue for Houston. Let’s hope that the Rockets can turn it around and find someone that will best fit them in the center role off the bench.