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Rockets’ James Ennis out vs. Jazz with strained hamstring

James Ennis, Rockets

Houston Rockets swingman James Ennis will sit out Wednesday night’s game against the Utah Jazz due to a strained hamstring. Lanky point guard Michael Carter-Williams will start in place of the injured Ennis, per Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.

In addition, Nene is getting an MRI on his strained calf and is questionable along with Marquese Chriss.

With superstar Chris Paul suspended by the league for two games after the much-talked-about scuffle with Los Angeles Lakers point guard Rajon Rondo, this is a tough blow for the Rockets. With Paul and Brandon Knight already out, plus Nene and Chriss possibly out, Houston is now looking even more shorthanded.

James Ennis, 28, is the Rockets’ defensive ace on the wing. Brought in as a replacement for Trevor Ariza, Ennis has shown that he could be a deadly 3-and-D threat and a valuable piece in head coach Mike D’Antoni’s system. He is shooting 43 percent from beyond the arc this season while being tasked to defend the best wing players on the opposition.

On the other hand, the 27-year-old Carter-Williams is an interesting replacement for Ennis. Instead of going with Carmelo Anthony, MCW could make up for the playmaking that the team will be lacking without Paul, and he is not a bad defender. His 6-foot-6, lengthy frame is ideal for the Rockets’ switching defense as he can guard multiple positions and give James Harden a breather on that end of the floor.

Still, the ball will rest on the hands of Harden as the Rockets and Jazz both vie for their second win of the season.