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Mike D’Antoni says people are downplaying James Ennis addition

James Ennis Mike D'Antoni

The Houston Rockets are bringing back largely the same roster that took them to Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals last year. Mike D’Antoni knows they’re capable of returning just as strong as they were last year. But they need some contributions from unexpected places.

D’Antoni spoke about the team’s outlook for next season with reporters. He said:

“First, you hate to lose Trevor. You hate to lose Luc. It happens. That’s the business part of it. We’ll miss them but at the same time it gives opportunities to other guys. I think James Ennis could be really good. I think people are downplaying him and he’s somebody that we need to develop a little bit.”

James Ennis is a possible replacement for the combination of Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute. Those two are critical losses for the Rockets. It’s unlikely that Ennis can replace Ariza and Mbah a Moute’s production from behind the arc, but perhaps he can bring the edge on defense that the Rockets will need.

Ennis has bounced around, playing on four teams in his four years in the league. But sometimes guys like that just need to find the right fit. Mbah a Moute turned in one of the best seasons of his career last year for the Rockets. Perhaps Ennis can do the same.

Regardless, D’Antoni will have to find a way to replace Ariza and Mbah a Moute’s production next season. His job now is to figure out who’s going to be the guy to do it.