Just in case anyone was worried, T.J. Warren and Tyler Ennis are both still pretty darn good at basketball.
Despite not getting many minutes at the NBA level, as the Suns hunt for a playoff spot, Warren and Ennis absolutely dominated in Bakersfield this weekend. The two looked more comfortable on the court together than they have all season and put up a fantastic stat line, helping the Jam to two important wins.
Both players looked good, but Warren's performance was on a different level in both games this weekend.
In the first game, against the Idaho Stampede, Warren was the star of the show, with 34 points, 3 steals and 3 rebounds on a very healthy 16/26 shooting number. Warren's rebounding effort could have been better, but generally his defensive presence was felt, as the starting forwards for the Stampede, Tyrel Tate and Joel Wright, combined for just 27 points on 13/27 shooting. They did have a large rebounding edge, however, with Wright nabbing 4 offensive rebounds.
It was more of the same for Warren in the second game (also against the Stampede) as he again went for 34 points, this time on 13/24 shooting with 8 rebounds. If anything, he looked better with his rotations on the defensive end in this game, which is encouraging.
Ennis' play wasn't quite as spectacular as Warren's, but still impressive nonetheless and probably his best play in the D-League so far. In the first game, Ennis had 17 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists and two steals. He was super efficient, hitting 7/11 including 3/5 from beyond the arc. His defense was at times suspect this game, as the opposing guards were able to score from the perimeter without too much opposition. But his penetration defense was better than it has looked in the past.
The second game was Ennis' best of the season so far, as he put up 29 points, 6 assists and 6 rebounds. The efficiency this game was somewhat reduced, as Ennis hit just 2/7 three pointers, but the bright side of that is that he looked a lot more comfortable penetrating and in the pick and roll game. It was also a sloppier game for Ennis, who picked up 5 fouls and had 3 turnovers. The turnovers aren't terribly indicting - they're more common in D-League play than in the NBA - but 5 fouls on a guard at this level isn't a good thing. Judging by the results, however, the fouls worked: the backcourt for the Stampede was far less efficient in this game than the previous.
Warren and Ennis have been recalled by the Suns, and they will re-join the team today.
The Jam's next game is on Tuesday, Jan. 27th. The game will be broadcast live on YouTube.