Enes Kanter had quite a historic night. Against the Detroit Pistons, Kanter had a franchise record of 30 rebounds. The big man from Turkey who has traveled the league quite a bit may have found his place in his second stint with the Portland Trail Blazers. Usually regarded as an offensive forward/center who can get points but is otherwise a liability, this performance says otherwise.
By the time the final buzzer went off Saturday night, Kanter had put up 24 points and 30 rebounds, putting himself in the franchise history books and earning heaps of praise from his teammates. Including Dame Time himself Damian Lillard.
Dame was full of praise for Enes Kanter after his THIRTY rebound night ? pic.twitter.com/SvBXOqua9w
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) April 11, 2021
He’s right, it was special. Being regarded as the best rebounder that Dame has ever played with is high praise. Kanter’s game, in my opinion, has been underrated during his time in the NBA. With all of the personal tribulations that he has dealt with, politically in Turkey and finding his footing in the NBA, Kanter has shown his determination and tenacity. As strong as he is, he should be able to hold his own, but becoming one of the premier rebounders in the league takes consistency as well as effort.
? @EnesKanter records the 3rd 20+ point/30+ rebound game in the last 20 years!
— NBA (@NBA) April 11, 2021
The Trail Blazers should make the 2021 NBA Playoffs and with play like this, they should be able to give almost any team a competitive series if not an outright win. Everyone knows Dame is going to lead Portland and with CJ McCollum back in rotation, a renewed and focused game from Kanter should boost their play moving forward.
Currently, Enes is averaging 12.2 points, 12.0 rebounds (4.4 offensive) while making 60.2% of his field goals. Those are all career highs if they hold on through the season. His play on the boards this season has been a revelation, his career average is only 7.9 rebounds per game. As the 6-seed currently, the Blazers should be happy with their situation, just three games behind the 4-seed Denver Nuggets.