The Houston Rockets sent down one of their backup centers recently to the G League to continue to work on his game. What came next is some serious improvement and domination.
Isaiah Hartenstein made his way onto the opening roster of the Houston Rockets thanks to hard work and injuries to Nene and Marquese Chriss. He showed flashes of productivity during his time on the team and was always ready to hustle whenever needed.
For the most part, though, there were areas that we saw where Hartenstein really needed to expand and work on his game. He needed to rebound a bit better as he was averaging just around 7 per game per 36 minutes. He needed to foul less as well (8.6 fouls per 36 minutes). His offensive game showed signs of being good, but he needed to tune it up a bit.
He was sent down the Rio Grande Valley Vipers whenever Nene returned from his injury. Since then, though, he’s handled the demotion very well. He’s been dominating in RGV in his three games there.
Let’s take a look:
Isaiah Hartenstein is averaging some ridiculous numbers for the Vipers. He’s putting up 24.3 points, 17.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists & 3.7 blocks per game for the team in around 35 minutes a night.
Included in those three games are back-to-back 20 points, 20 rebounds games by the big man with yesterday’s 29 points/20 rebounds performance highlighting it all. He’s been utter dominant in these games and it’s nice to see the improvements.
Hartenstein has been working hard to improve his game and become an NBA caliber player. He played plenty of G League games last season (38) but had nowhere near this level of production in them. Last year, he averaged just 9.5 points and 6.6 rebounds a game for the team.
Once Harty gets more experience, I see him being a solid role player for the Rockets for years to come. He has the rebounding ability but hasn’t shown it too much in the league. That seems to be a central focus of his in the G League right now with his glass-cleaning display.
You can expect to see him back up with the Rockets at some point in the near future. If he keeps putting up numbers like this, you kind of have to give him a shot. With Nene’s unpredictability in games he will play (or being ejected, apparently), Harty should find himself some minutes before long.
Let’s hope he can be a part of the solution to fix the rebounding issue on the team!