Mar 21, 2016; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks guard Tyler Ennis (11) looks for an open man during the second quarter against the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
2016-17 Player Preview: Tyler Ennis gets his chance
The uncomfortable process of growth is usually initiated by change. It is one of the few things constant in this life. In Tyler Ennis‘s case, it has happened more times than not. Now playing for the Houston Rockets, this will be Tyler’s third team in three years.
Houston acquired the 6’2 guard through a trade that, at the time, made more sense for Milwaukee. However, with Patrick Beverly out 4-6 weeks, Ennis may finally get to earn a spot in rotation. Although, the tenacity of Beverly will be sorely missed on the defensive end.
What makes Tyler’s tale all the more interesting, is that he almost didn’t make the roster. Many sites and experts were reporting that Pablo Prigioni, was going to make the final roster. The funny thing about change is, that it can often come rather unexpectedly. The Rockets, in a surprise turn, decided to go with the youth movement at guard and release the older veteran. The former Naismith award finalist will get his chance to flourish, in a very uncertain back-court.
Jun 26, 2014; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Tyler Ennis (Syracuse) shakes hands with NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being selected as the number eighteen overall pick to the Phoenix Suns in the 2014 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Young guard in the run and gun
In the three seasons Tyler Ennis has been in the league, his averages have been restricted by his lack of minutes. However, during preseason his stats rose across the board.
Minutes per game (mpg): 16.2
Points per game (ppg): 6.8
Rebounds per game (rpg): 2
Total assists: 12
While Tyler only played one season of college ball, he left with his share of awards. All-ACC Defensive team, All-ACC Freshman team and All-America freshman team honors, just to name a few. Now, obviously the transition from college to pros is not always an easy one. But, his time spent in the D-League shows an understanding and feel for the game.
Nov 10, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas chases a loose ball against Milwaukee Bucks center Greg Monroe and guard Tyler Ennis in the first quarter at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Trio of Guards
The “point guard by committee” (Gordon, Brown, Ennis) may not be able to match Beverly’s individual defense, but as a group they may be able to match his effort. Each guard brings something different to the game and I envision Ennis being the facilitator. Pablo may have been released, but the Rockets believe Tyler can bring the same type of game. Ball movement and running the offense are essential to Coach D’Antoni’s scheme.
The Rockets finally seem to have the right amount of vets and rookies, but the question is can they hold up defensively? The team did take steps in the right direction bringing on Jeff Bzdelik as defensive coach, but it’s up to the team to buy in and find balance.
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Next up the Rockets play a home and home series versus the Mavericks. Friday the first of the two games is on the road in Dallas with the tip at 8:30PM ET. In preparation, check out the team previews as per the above links.