LOS ANGELES- The Lakers 119-98 drubbing at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs left little room for positives takeaways from the purple and gold. The team posted more turnovers (18) than assists (16), and trailed by double-digits for the grand majority of the game.
Despite the ugly result, for trade deadline acquisition Tyler Ennis, it was a thrill just to be out there.
“Putting on the jersey is an honor for anybody. I'll always remember this first day,” Ennis said.
Some may end up remembering it for some obscure trivia from the end-to-end drubbing.
Only two Lakers had positive plus-minus ratings at the end of the loss. There was Thomas Robinson (+2), who head coach Luke Walton inserted to give the Lakers a much-needed dose of energy, but the team-high in the stat belonged to Ennis (+3).
“Intensity defensively, just picking that up and trying to bring a spark off the bench,” Ennis said of what he wants to bring to Los Angeles. “I haven't learned all of the sets yet, but as time goes on I'll know it and I think that'll make it a lot easier to get guys the ball and feed guys.”
Ennis did that against the Spurs on this easy pocket pass following a dribble-hand-off with Robinson:
Ennis only played eight minutes of garbage time, so to extrapolate too much from his performance would be dangerous, but he produced five points on three shots to go with two assists and zero turnovers.
“I thought I did my job of pushing the ball. I'm trying to get used to guys a little bit, but just making the open shot when it's there, and making plays,” Ennis continued on what he hopes to bring to the Lakers. “I think that will help us a lot if I can come in and make plays, make the game easier.”
Ennis said making things easier for him has been his teammates, who he says have “welcomed [him] with open arms,” or in the case of rookie forward Brandon Ingram, went out of their way to dap up the Lakers’ newest player on their way out of the locker room.
“I think because I'm a pass-first guy everyone is going to like me a little bit more,” Ennis laughed.
He also isn’t new to everyone in the locker room. Ennis and fellow reserve Jordan Clarkson lived together as they prepared for the 2014 NBA Draft, and Clarkson was impressed with his teammate’s debut.
“He did really good,” Clarkson said. “He's a hell of a passer, able to make plays for his teammates, and when he has a chance to score he does that as well.”
"We didn't skip a beat, even playing on different teams we always kept in touch, and I think that's made things a bit easier having one of my good friends here,” Ennis said. “As time goes on I think the chemistry will build, and that can help us all."
How long Ennis will be in Los Angeles will depend a lot on how he plays over the team’s final 23 games of the season. For now, he and Clarkson are just going to enjoy their reunion.
“Having him here is pretty cool,” Clarkson said.
All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. All stats per NBA.com and Basketball-Reference.com. Harrison Faigen is co-host of the Locked on Lakers podcast (subscribe here), and you can follow him on Twitter at @hmfaigen.