Enes Kanter: "Keep limiting me on the court, I will expose you off the court"
The Boston Celtics last night lost to the Cleveland by 2 points. Boston blew a 19 point lead and while they certainly missed Al Horford who was out injured, Udoka did have a capable center to back-up Robert Williams in his place. Enes Kanter never got the call.
We tweeted this last night:
Celtics were a +13 for the 34 mins that Time Lord played & thus a -15 for the 14 mins he didn't.
None of those 14 mins went to Enes Kanter. Why did you re-sign Enes if you aren't going to play him the nights Al is out & you're getting killed the mins Time Lord has to rest?
And it's not like the Cavs went small. Their two big men Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen played a combined 68 minutes. If there was ever a game to play Kanter last night was it. Especially as Udoka sat Tatum, Time Lord, Schroder, and Smart simultaneously for a stretch of the 4th quarter where the Cavs rallied back.
The Celtics could have used Kanter's size, scoring, and rebounding during that stretch. Through 13 games, Enes has played in only 2 games. He's tallied just 10 minutes of action all season.
China stripped Celtics games from their airwaves after Kanter called our their human rights violations in Tibet. Now he never plays. Could it be a coincidence? Sure. Kanter is a throwback big. But he's always gotten playing time during regular seasons and put up solid numbers. His defense has been an issue. Just seems odd that Brad Stevens signed Enes and even if it was just as insurance for when/if Horford or Time Lord is out injured, he's still not playing in those games. And again the Cavs go big.
Was that a shot at Udoka, the Celtics, and the NBA? We'll let you be the judge. Who is Enes insinuating is limiting him on the court? Is he accusing China president Xi Jinping of forcing Adam Silver and the Celtics to quietly punish him?
The NBA and the Celtics for their part have quietly told Kanter they support his right to free speech, but have told him that they support this human rights battle. This is in contrast to when all the NBA teams let it be known they supported Black Lives Matter and stood together with their players in the social justice cause.
Last season Kanter played in all 72 regular season games (35 starts) for the Portland Trail Blazers for a total of 1758 minutes. The previous COVID shortened season Enes played 983 minutes for the Celtics over 58 games.