Ennis will open the season as the Rockets' starting small forward, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reports.
Coach Mike D'Antoni admitted recently that he opened training camp expecting Eric Gordon to start on the wing alongside James Harden and Chris Paul, but he clarified recently that he'll go with Ennis, who split last season between the Pistons and Grizzlies. "I just hadn't seen James Ennis when September rolled around," D'Antoni said. "When we practiced, you could just tell. Without a doubt, just being able to flatten things out (helps.) He runs the floor; he comes up with loose balls. He gives us all the little stuff, like P.J. does. You have two of those guys and obviously talent around them, he's a perfect fit." While D'Antoni said the lineup can always change as the season goes on, it appears the small forward spot is Ennis' to lose for the time being.
Ennis produced 12 points (5-10 FG, 2-3 3Pt), six rebounds and one steal in 32 minutes during Thursday's 110-100 preseason loss to the Pacers.
Ennis received the start once again and did enough to keep the coaching staff happy. He finds himself in a nice position in Houston with the departure of both Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute. He is going to be relied upon to deliver some perimeter scoring as well as wing defense. His playing time remains a little clouded at this time, however, he is unlikely to have any real fantasy value outside of deeper formats.
Ennis had eight points (3-5 FG, 1-1 3Pt, 1-2 FT), three rebounds, and two assists in 19 minutes during Tuesday's 131-115 win over the Grizzlies.
Ennis drew the start and delivered good per-minute production. However, he somehow managed to foul out. Given the offseason departures of Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute, Ennis will be relied on to provide defense and three-point shooting.
Ennis will pick up the start for Tuesday's preseason matchup with the Grizzlies, Rockets' play-by-play announcer Craig Ackerman reports.
The Rockets are likely just experimenting with some different lineups, as Eric Gordon is expected to start alongside Chris Paul and James Harden once the regular season arrives. Still, it's encouraging for the fact that Ennis will likely play a significant role in the rotation, even if he's coming off the bench during the regular season. Joining Ennis in the top unit will be Paul, Harden, Carmelo Anthony and Clint Capela.
Ennis was cleared for the start of training camp last Thursday after overcoming a recent calf injury, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reports.
Ennis ended the 2017-18 campaign on the court, so it appears the calf issue must have surfaced at some point over the summer. Prior to gaining clearance for camp, Ennis had practiced on back-to-back days, so he shouldn't be at any major risk of missing the preseason opener Oct. 2 against the Grizzlies for any reason other than rest. The swingman, who averaged 7.1 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.0 assist, 0.7 steals and 0.7 three-pointers in 22.3 minutes per game across 72 contests between the Grizzlies and Pistons last season, is expected to fill a depth role in his inaugural campaign in Houston.
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|2011-12||Long Beach State||34||987||117||235||49.8||43||123||35.0||64||90||71.1||341||10.0|
|2012-13||Long Beach State||33||1093||182||371||49.1||55||154||35.7||126||151||83.4||545||16.5|
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|2011-12||Long Beach State||34||987||99||2.9||88||2.6||54||1.6||26||0.8||69|
|2012-13||Long Beach State||33||1093||156||4.7||70||2.1||58||1.8||43||1.3||99|