The Ennis Experiment

In the dark days of the season, we’ve seen about as much experimentation as a young team can attempt while still staying competitive.  One of our experiments has been Tyler Ennis running the bench, and he’s been a big reason why we’ve stayed competitive despite the injuries to our backcourt.   Just a few months ago, I was pretty sure Tyler Ennis wasn’t an NBA player.  I still had hope for him, but the longer he sat on the bench, the shorter and slower he felt.  However, given some playing time Ennis has shown he’s quite capable as our backup point guard.  As Marques Johnson said, some guys make things happen and Ennis is a guy that has to make things happen.  Luckily for all parties involved, Ennis is the type of dude who shows up when he needs to.  Things will work out when I need them to.  I know it may not make sense, but I’m going to figure out a way to overcome my shortcomings.  I’m not even sure how, it’ll just have to happen.  Honestly, it may not make sense, but this is the most complimentary I can be towards anybody.  He has a mindset to just make it happen.  My favorite people are the ones that just somehow pull it off, or at least have that belief that they’ll pull it off.

Last season, Ennis struggled to protect the ball while bringing the ball up the court.  He looked too weak, too slow to play the position, but he was young and showed enough craft to keep him in the back of your mind.  A year later, he’s bulked up, improved his athleticism, and given us hope that he can be an acceptable long-range shooter. His craftiness still comes through, which makes me think we should go into next season with the plan to play him twenty minutes a game off the bench.  He’s very good at running the team on offense.  He holds the ball a little too much, but he has a talent for passing, so the ball in his hands isn’t the worst thing in the world.

When running the fast break, Ennis seems to have the right play in mind.  It doesn’t always work out the way he plans it, but he’s trying to make the best play for the team.  He usually looks to take a defender out by dribbling at them and kicking it to the trailer, which is a pretty good move when your trailer is Jabari or Giannis.  If he decides to take it himself, he’s shown that he is semi-capable at finishing against other guards, with lay-ups high off the glass, a floater, or even a contact chest to chest lay-up, but to be fair, the chest to chest finish might be about as common as an OJ dunk.

He’s also become quite smitten throwing oops after slicing his way into the lane drawing a defender or two.  It’s fun to watch.  It’s been so long since the Bucks were fun to watch, we need to embrace any player that makes our team competitive and fun to watch.  He has the ability to pass with either hand, which gives him the ability to make a decision and just sling it.  He’s got a little Tony Romo to him.  Tony plays the game off of feel, just because we’re down fourteen doesn’t mean I need to panic, I just need to make something happen, right now.  I’m not saying he’s going to pull it off, but he’ll give you a chance.  Tyler has a little of that to him, he hasn’t shown too much of it, but vibes be vibes.

Perhaps the most important trait that Ennis brings to the table is the ability to move without the ball.  He slides to get himself some open space if Giannis so chooses to give the ball up.  Right now, he slides to the open space only to reset the offense and start a pick and roll, but eventually he’ll start sliding to the open space, get the pass from Giannis and hit the three.  Go to your favorite fortune route and ask about it, they’ll tell ya Ennis will eventually hit that shot.  I don’t know if the fortune telling union agreed upon it ahead of time, or if the spirit world just wants it to be so, but Tyler Ennis will hit that shot in the future.

Being able to be on the floor with Giannis playing point is a great quality for the young guard.  He’s making it hard for management to ignore.  He’s finding a niche on the team.  As long as he plays within the team’s game plan, he at least as the potential to be a long-term side piece for the Bucks.  As important as it is to find players like Giannis and Jabari to lead the team, once you’ve got your star pieces you need to find complimentary ballers.  Tyler Ennis fits really well with our stars.  He’s good at getting them the ball, and he’s good at playing off them once our stars have the ball.  It’s just a matter of letting him develop into a very specific role.  This piece fits well in our chase for a championship.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here