The Houston Rockets are working to get back to the top of the Western Conference. One rookie on the team deserves to get some more minutes as they look to achieve that goal.
On December 6, the Houston Rockets signed Gary Clark to a full 3-year contract after showing some serious promise to start the season. He was previously on a two-way deal after making the team out of training camp.
Clark was an undrafted free agent that the Rockets decided to take a chance on. He was the AAC Player of the Year at Cincinnati his senior year there and can play both ends of the floor. He shot incredibly well from 3 in college and has been working towards converting that at the next level.
Clark’s minutes started the dwindle after the signing of Danuel House, however. House was a bit more explosive and has been able to shoot the ball more effectively. So despite the contract, he is now out of the rotation. That is, until recently.
With more injuries, the Rockets have now played Clark in four of the last six games. He’s hardly skipped a beat and is looking more and more confident out there, even in limited minutes. He deserves to play more, even when players are back and healthy.
Why he should play more
Gary Clark has played well during his recent stretch of games. During his last six appearances dating back to December 19, he is shooting an incredible 62.5% from deep (5/8) in just 9 minutes a game. He’s had some great first halves for the Rockets, but hasn’t been trusted to play much in the second halves of games.
Last night, Clark got the opportunity to play more minutes against a bad Cavs team. He scored 8 points on 2/4 shooting from deep (3/6 overall) and looked great out there in just 19 minutes. I think that he deserves to play more for the Rockets if he can continue to shoot well consistently. Having that firepower and youth off the bench could be great for the team moving forward.
Who should he play over when everyone is back and healthy? James Ennis, probably. Ennis hasn’t quite been the same since he returned from his hamstring injury. While he’s shown improvements, Clark has the ability to give the Rockets the same production or more on both ends of the court. Danuel House and Gerald Green definitely deserve to keep their heavy minutes going forward, but Clark should also see around 20 minutes a game.
When Eric Gordon and Chris Paul both return, we’ll get a better opportunity to see how the rotation may look moving forward. The Rockets have a ton of guys that are deserving of minutes, let’s hope Gary Clark doesn’t get lost on the bench.