Swingman James Ennis signed a two-year, $3.47 million free agent deal with the Houston Rockets in July and the 28-year-old has high expectations for himself and the team.
The Rockets finished with the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference last season and were a game away from reaching the NBA Finals. Houston took a 3-2 series lead heading into Game 6 of the 2018 Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors, but star point guard Chris Paul missed Games 6 and 7 with a hamstring injury and the Rockets weren’t able to close out the series.
Houston’s roster will look a little different this season. The team lost Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute in free agency, two big losses considering Ariza and Mbah a Moute are talented perimeter defenders. The Rockets, though, made some valuable additions after losing Ariza and Mbah a Moute. Along with Ennis, Houston signed Carmelo Anthony and Michael Carter-Williams, and traded for Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss.
Ennis, who has played for four teams in four years in the NBA, has a chip on his shoulder and believes the Rockets can dethrone the Warriors.
“I have a chip on my shoulder,” Ennis told Alykhan Bijani of The Athletic. “I have a lot to prove. So this year, coming in, I’m just really focused on just being the player I can be and being someone Coach can put in at anytime and help. [We have] a lot of power. A lot of offensive power. A lot of defensive power. Bringing in Carmelo who is an offensive threat. Michael Carter Williams is a good guard, he can score the ball, his length. If everyone is healthy, we’ll definitely beat them [Golden State].”
Ennis split time in 2017-18 with the Memphis Grizzlies and Detroit Pistons. In 72 regular season games, Ennis averaged 7.1 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.0 assists while shooting 47.4 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from three.