Utah Jazz: What’s wrong with Enes Kanter?

Enes Kanter has been removed from the starting lineup, and rather than use that demotion as motivation to prove he belongs back in the starting lineup, he appears to have lost all confidence. What is going on with his game?

When it comes to offensive possessions, Kanter was seen as the stronger player to Favors, but Favors has actually demonstrated he’s the better option in many situations. Kanter is still the better post-up scorer, and when you see Kanter on the left block, you can see him break into Al Jefferson choreography to get that basket to go in. Favors’ advantage is that he’s more likely to draw a foul in post-up plays (11% to Kanter’s 1.1%) Big Al taught Enes well how to not get himself to the free-throw line.

Favors has excelled as a pick-and-roll man, and with Trey Burke in the line-up I expect to see those plays increase. Kanter’s better at scoring off of the offensive rebound, but this is another area where Favors is catching up, perhaps due to his minutes primarily being at the 5 now. Favors shoots 57.4% off of pick-and-rolls, compared to Kanter’s 37.7%. When it comes to cuts to the basket, Favors shoots at 59.3% compared to Kanter’s 42.9%. Favors ranks as the 110th best offensive player in the NBA, compared to Kanter at 227.

Now to defense. How do their opponents shoot in these situations?

Shot                   Favors – Kanter
Isolation –       33.3% – 44%
Post-Up –        45.3% – 49.4%
Pick & Roll –   38.2% – 47.8%
Spot-Up –        32.6% – 59%

Overall, how is there’s offensive/defensive Points-Per-Possession?

Player            Off/Def PPP        Rank
Favors            0.96 / 0.87           110/182
Kanter            0.86 / 1.06           227/327
Williams         1.06 / 0.94           28/269
Evans              1.05 / 1.06           34/327

If Corbin’s really going to let his best players play, it’s tough to argue keeping him in the starting lineup. Unless your goal is to let your lottery picks develop and lose some games on purpose, setting you up for an awesome draft pick next year. *cough!* Offensively, Enes is the weakest of the four, and defensively he ties with Jeremy, but Jeremy brings a lot more offensively.

Here’s a sequence that just illustrates where Kanter’s having problems.  He is about to hand it off to Alec Burks to start a pick and roll play.

Enespick1Alec points for him to set the pick but as soon as Alec breaks left and Tony Parker wants to cut behind him, Enes starts running to the basket. Moving screen. Turnover.


Offensively he went 1-for-6 against the Spurs, and when you have more turnovers than buckets made, it’s a problem. He missed two layups and three jumpers. His one make was a dunk off an offensive rebound. If his offense isn’t going to be there, then he needs to sharpen his defense. Otherwise he can expect to stay on the bench the rest of the season.

About the author

John English

John studied journalism at UVU and put that to good use by writing for free for blogs on a part-time basis. Money well spent. He became an avid Jazz fan since moving to Utah in 1989. Also a fan of the NFL and BYU football.