The deduction of both Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute from the 2018-2018 Houston Rocket’s roster has created questions amongst many about the capabilities of the team’s defense and overall capabilities. Yet, does the addition of Carmelo Anthony and James Ennis specifically outweigh and voids that may be present to contend with the likes of the Golden State Warriors?
The Houston Rockets preseason opener was a re-affirmation of Daryl Morey’s genius. To see Clint Capela resigned for a great value, Carmelo Anthony apologizing for mid-range shots over three-pointers, the “Point God,” and the NBA’s M.V.P in such fluidity must have excited any true Rockets fan.
Yet, dictating the outcome off of one pre-season game in Alabama can only be foolish. There, however, are immediate observations that can be made an applied to the first and secondary units that illustrate the Rocket’s early strategy and capabilities.
P.J Tucker did not play, and that very well might be the reason this article is going to be praising James Ennis. However, off of that one game and even with the labels of “eager” or even “foolish” looming, Rockets fans must be watching and hoping that James Ennis could potentially be the “x-factor” or “missing link” within this year’s roster.
Clean off of a decent season split between Memphis and Detroit, Ennis is looking to prove himself as a substantial role player upon a championship team this year. His coast-to-coast capabilities prove that he can very well fill the defensive void questioned by those wondering if the loss of Trevor Ariza or Luc Mbah a Moute are significant to make the Rockets digress this year.
After a 6.9 and 7.5 PPG split average last season, James Ennis very well may contribute significantly to the outside and attacking offense of Mike D’ Antoni as well. These are the players that quietly structure a championship team and a championship drive, Rocket’s fans must hope James Ennis is that type of player.
It is important to note the tenacity James Ennis career has possessed, and the path his career has carried to Houston has simply been paved by hard work and good basketball. Playing for the Perth Wildcats in 2014, and then the Puerto Rican Piratas de Quebradillas, Ennis’s career is an impressive journey towards becoming a highly valued NBA puzzle piece.
Goofy media critics and keyboard questioners must accept the fact that James Ennis might likely be one of the valued new members that make any defensive void on this year’s roster obsolete compared to 2017-2018. Simply put, James Ennis might be the Houston Rocket’s “x-factor.”
The collective role players of the 2018-2019 Houston Rocket’s must mirror the 1994 Championship Rockets in many senses. Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon caliber players will be present on the team, one can arguably say the isolated talent of Chris Paul and James Harden matches that.
Just as importantly, the other pieces of talent need to match that championship scrappiness to overcome an even more modernly manipulated NBA system. James Ennis, Eric Gordon, P.J Tucker and Gerald Green must mirror the efforts of Sam Cassell, Robert Horry, Vernon Maxwell and Mario Elie. Luckily that seems possible, and it seems the 2018-2019 Houston Rocket’s sky may be the limit with this year’s roster thanks to Daryl Morey and company.