The Houston Rockets are set to kick off the 2023-24 season on Wednesday, when the team faces the Orlando Magic. However, the Rockets will be short-handed in Wednesday's game, as second-year forward Tari Eason won't be in uniform due to a leg injury that caused him to miss the Rockets' final three preseason games.
If you follow Eason's mom on social media, you already knew he would miss the opener because she said it days ago on her Twitter account.
However, as it turns out, Eason will miss more than just Orlando's game, as Rockets coach Ime Udoka announced that the 22-year-old will miss two-three weeks of action. Based on Udoka's timeline, Eason could miss up to the Rockets' first nine games of the season.
Rockets dealt unfortunate news regarding Tari Eason's injury prognosis
Eason turned in a successful preseason, as he averaged 9.5 points, 6 rebounds, 2.5 steals, 1.5 assists, 72.7 percent from the field, and 50 percent from long-range. Eason's pickpocket ability was especially on display during the Rockets' second preseason match against the New Orleans Pelicans.
Eason also had a stellar showing in the Summer League, posting averages of 23 points (fourth-best), 3 blocks (tied for fifth-best), 9.5 rebounds (tied for eighth-best), 48.7 percent from the field, and 36.4 percent from deep.
The Rockets figure to use a combination of Jeff Green, Jae'Sean Tate, and Cam Whitmore to replace Eason's production and expected role, although none of them possess his exact skillset.
If Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, who the Rockets acquired from the Oklahoma City Thunder last week, is on the roster beyond Monday's cut down date, he could get some of Eason's minutes, as he has a similar 6-foot-8 frame as Eason.
Eason's absence will be felt right away, as the Rockets will have their hands full with Orlando's Paolo Banchero, who is a matchup nightmare.