The silver lining for injuries in professional sports can involve the replacements, often players seldom used or thought of. Such is the case with Los Angeles Lakers guard Tyler Ennis, who has stepped up admirably in Lonzo Ball’s absence.
As Ball deals with a shoulder injury, Ennis has emerged off the bench to showcase skills perhaps not even the Lakers knew he possessed. He played an integral role in nearly taking down the Houston Rockets in double overtime.
While most thought Jordan Clarkson would absorb most of the point guard minutes, Ennis has worked his way into the lineup–perhaps helping the Lakers uncover a gem even once Ball returns.
“He’s been begging for an opportunity,” head coach Luke Walton told reporters following the loss to Houston. “He finally got his chance [against the Rockets], he was great. … That’s why we always preach, whether you’re playing right now or not, as a professional you need to stay ready and do your work because you will get an opportunity at some point and you’ve got to be ready to take advantage of it and … Tyler was.”
Ennis has bounced around the league despite being just 23 years old. Already on his fourth team, Ennis has not really had many opportunities to prove himself, apart from serving as a backup, receiving a few minutes here and there.
Ennis’ 20-point performance against the Rockets could increase his role. He’s more of a true point guard than Clarkson, who is better suited to play off the ball as a two guard. As Ball continues to rehab his injury, Ennis should see an increased workload.
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