With the Jazz going young this year a few players will finally get their chance to show what they can do given the minutes. Derek Favors and Gordon Hayward are sure to impress and rookie Trey Burke will have the opportunity to compete for rookie of the year. The two players that have the biggest chance to surprise and move some heads are Alec Burks and Enes Kanter. Both players have been extremely limited in the minutes they have received but have performed exceptionally well in those minutes. Today I will focus my breakdown on Enes Kanter and tomorrow Alec Burks.
Enes Kanter only played an average of 15.1 minutes per game but averaged 7.2 points and 4.3 rebounds. Take that up to 36 minutes a game and he would be averaging 17 points and 11 rebounds. Kanter is easily a double double guy and he has proved multiple times that his numbers get even better when he plays more minutes. Here is a list of games when he played over 30 minutes:
vs Toronto 12/7 – 18 points 8 rebounds
vs Charlotte 3/1 – 23 points 22 rebounds
@ Milwaukee 3/4 – 18 points 10 rebounds
Three games is all we have to go on but those stats should show that he is capable of playing big minutes and performing well.
The thing that jumps out the most to me is his ability to shoot for a big guy. Last year his true shooting percentage was 58.8% and 79.8% from the line. If he continues to shoot that well he will be putting up a lot more than 18 points a game as he will be a focal point of the offense. It’s also crucial that he hits the jumper and even the three as it will help spread the floor for the wings. In warmups Kanter would shoot threes and he hit them consistently (in a game might be different).
The other thing that sticks out is his desire to play the game. He has fun playing, wants to get better but also wants to take it at the opponent. He might be the only Jazz player that wants to take over games and has the ability as well. He’s a lot like Al on offense but also takes pride in stopping his man on defense. Those that are sad to see Jefferson go, don’t be because a better Al is starting this next year. Okay okay he might not be as good as Al on offense… yet, but he will be better because of his force mixed with his finesse.
I expect Enes to have a breakout year next season that will allow the Jazz to know they have a center for the long haul as he always tweets #jazzmanforlife. Enes the Menace, the Big Turkey and Turkish Delight will be quite a site this next year, so brace yourself Jazz fans as Enes Kanter becomes the Jazz’s best player.
If you doubt me just look at the per 36 numbers on Zach Randolph and Enes Kanter:
Enes Kanter: 16.9 points, 10.8 rebounds, 1.1 blocks, 1 steal, 54% shooting, 79.5% free throw
Zach Randolph: 16.1 points, 11.2 rebounds, .5 blocks, 1 steal, 46% shooting, 75% free throw