Rockets’ Tari Eason Declares Bold Goal Of Becoming NBA’s Best Defender

Tari Eason, Houston Rockets, NBA News
NBA Analysis Network

Houston Rockets forward Tari Eason put the NBA world on notice with an impressive rookie season. He joined teammate Jabari Smith Jr. on the All-Rookie Second Team after averaging 9.3 points and 6.0 rebounds while playing in all 82 games. Impressively enough, the former LSU Tiger only received 21.5 minutes a night.

Across five starts, Eason displayed his immense talent with per-game averages of 13.6 points and 9.8 rebounds while shooting 50.9% from the field. Standing at 6-foot-8, Eason rebounds incredibly well for his size. Per 36 minutes, the 22-year-old snagged 10.1 total boards per contest and an unbelievable 4.0 offensive boards per contest.

Despite his undeniable knack for getting buckets and boards, Eason has an even greater knack for defense. The youngster hangs his hat on his elite defensive abilities, and he will look to continue his ascension as a defender in his sophomore season.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Tari Eason & Houston Rockets Updates

According to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, Eason wants to become the best defender in the NBA.

“I want to be the best defender in the NBA at some point,” Eason said. “I truly believe I can be. I will be. I just got to work, and the rest will fall into place. As far as effort and taking pride on that end of the floor, that’s kind of my calling card. I want to be the best defender I can be.”

Eason possesses the size, versatility, and athleticism to develop into one of the league’s premier defenders. He showed flashes of greatness with his pick-pocketing brilliance last season. Per 36 minutes, Eason averaged exactly two steals and one block. In fact, he finished fifth leaguewide in steal percentage with a 2.6% mark, meaning 2.6% of possessions with Eason on the floor ended in an Eason steal.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Tari Eason & Houston Rockets Updates

Eason also addressed Houston’s porous team defense and the makeover it desperately needs. The Rockets let opponents light them up often, holding the second-worst defensive rating in the NBA while allowing teams to average 20.6 points off of turnovers against them.

“There are still some things we got to fully hash out, but I think we’re getting there,” Eason said. “The strides were made as far as communication. Last year, a lot of our defensive deficiencies came from us not being able to communicate, which also comes from us being young. With the mix of veterans and I guess the mentality coming in this year — we’ve all bought into the system — defensively, we took a lot of leaps in terms of communication, knowing where to be and a willingness to want to get better on that end of the floor.”

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Tari Eason & Houston Rockets Updates

Eason performed well in his preseason debut as he dropped 11 points, eight rebounds, two steals, and a block in only 20 minutes of action. The well-rounded forward could contend for a starting spot this season, especially with Kevin Porter Jr. out of the picture.

Want the latest NBA analysis, breaking news, and insider information? Click Here. Follow NBA Analysis Network on Twitter and Facebook.

Interested in reading the latest storylines and analysis in the NFL? Check out our partner NFL Analysis Network.

Former New York Knicks’ Star Doesn’t Hold Back On Jalen Brunson

After a prolonged search for a standout leader, the New York Knicks have finally found their star in Jalen Brunson, who has stepped up to

John Calipari In Serious Talks To Leave Kentucky For Arkansas

Arkansas’ coaching search since Eric Musselman’s departure has become quite the story over the past few days. On Sunday, Kentucky’s John Calipari emerged as the

Boston Celtics Emerging As Possible Zach Edey Suitor In NBA Draft

The Boston Celtics are poised to secure the 30th pick in the upcoming 2024 NBA draft. Could they consider targeting Purdue star Zach Edey late