Enes Kanter has sat the last three games for the New York Knicks due to back spasms. During that three game span the Knicks have not win a game, and that includes an ugly loss to the 4-16 Atlanta Hawks. Kristaps Porzingis has missed a game as well during this three-game losing streak, but what has been the one constant? No Enes Kanter.
Kanter is known for his offense and rebounding, while not being a very good defender. However, I think he plays a bigger role on the defensive end than he is given credit for and what the statistics say. Including the last three games, the Knicks are allowing 104.7 points per game. During the three-game losing streak without Kanter, the Knicks are allowing a whopping 112 points per game. That includes 116 points to the Hawks, who are averaging only 102.2 points per game. The reason may not be because of the absence of Kanter, but I would say it has at least a bit to do with it. When looking at the offensive side of things it is obvious that the Knicks are dearly missing Kanter. The Knicks are averaging 104 points per game through 20 games this year. However, during this three-game losing streak, they are only averaging 99 points per game, which is tied for 4th worst in the league over the last three games.
Let’s take a look at Kanter’s rankings among NBA Centers who have played at least 300 minutes through November 27th.
- 90.6 FT% (1st)
- 24.26 PER (4th)
- 63.5 FG% (5th)
- 3.7 Offensive Rebounds Per Game (5th)
- 3.0 Estimated Wins Added (7th)
- 90.7 Value Added (8th)
- 10.2 Rebounds Per Game (11th)
- 13.6 PPG (13th)
- 105.3 Offensive Rating (15th)
Kanter has been playing very well for the Knicks this year, but he has really proven how valuable he is to this team in his absence. He adds not only production, but leadership and a spark whenever he is on the court. In the first 20 games this season, it is looking like Enes Kanter will be a cornerstone for this franchise moving forward. Kanter has resumed basketball activities today and he hopes to play Wednesday against the Heat. Knick fans are praying that he does as it is becoming clear that the Knicks need Kanter to win.