How Bulls perfectly encapsulated Enes Kanter’s game


Back-to-back double-doubles for Enes Kanter. First time he’s done that as a member of the Celtics. What’s not to like, right?

Daniel Gafford was putty in Kanter’s hands. Wendell Carter Jr. had a tough time defending him in the post, too.

Kanter absolutely played an important role in Boston’s 111-104 win. (For a complete recap of the Celtics' win, click here.)

“To have a guy like Enes where you can throw it in, kind of slow the game down, and he can get a bucket for you, is huge,” Gordon Hayward said. “We went to him tonight (and) he was big time.”

.@EnesKanter with the spin move--️-------------- ------------ (-- @MetroByTMobile )

— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) January 5, 2020

Low-post offense has now been deemed inefficient — because, apparently, no one watched Joel Embiid when the Sixers last visited Boston. Yet, as Hayward points out, it alters the pace of the game. A refined low-post player can also get opponents in foul trouble.

So Kanter has value beyond the points he scores and his rebounding ability on both ends.

“It’s weird, man. If you look at the league, there’s not many big men that play (with their) back to the basket anymore. But I think, you know, I love that tough stuff and back-to-the-basket game, rebounds and all that. Like the old days.”

But his defense is still an issue.

Yes, Kanter blocked six shots the other night. He had two against the Bulls and made an impressive play to get his lone steal on Saturday. He has his moments.

He still makes too many mistakes, though.

Tomas Satoransky had an easy pass to Carter in the paint, who then got an even easier dunk attempt.

Lauri Markkanen and Thaddeus Young each had an easy fastbreak dunk because Kanter didn’t get back.

Then there was the play where he tried to challenge Markkanen and played him straight up. It was actually a decent attempt. Except Kanter was whistled for a foul because his foot was in the restricted area. He had plenty of time to get in a good position and failed to do so.

Daniel Theis doesn’t make that mistake. Now, Theis might not get the call either, but that’s another story. He usually puts himself in the best spot possible.

More importantly, Theis can switch onto quicker guys. Obviously, he had the big block on Trae Young’s three-point attempt at the end of Friday’s game. Then Theis was switching left and right at the end of Saturday’s game when things got close.

Daniel Theis with the game winning rejection!!! Marcus Smart then does what Marcus Smart does --

— Celtics Nation (@CelticsNationCP) January 4, 2020

But Kanter, who had a far superior offensive game, wasn’t out there. Why? Because Theis can switch from Carter to Kris Dunn then put up a fight against Zach LaVine. That’s not to say Theis is Kawhi Leonard, but at least he has a chance.

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