NBA Preseason 2012-2013, Game 3:
Utah Jazz (1-1) @ Los Angeles Lakers (0-2)
Player Focus -- Enes Kanter
The Lakers have a huge front line in Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, Jordan Hill, and Robert Sacre. Even forwards like Antawn Jamison and Metta World Peace can bang a bit and take care of business on the glass. That said, tonight, the Lakers huge front line will be looking a little anemic as Dwight and Jordan will both be out. Consequently, the Utah Jazz are known for being beefy inside - but will be without dynamo Paul Millsap. Al Jefferson is Al Jefferson, but trying harder on defense. But he's not going to get a huge amount of playing time tonight (he's only averaging 21 mpg). Derrick Favors is in some kind of funk. And well, Jeremy Evans is somehow even playing worse.
Who does that leave?
Well, it leaves Enes Kanter, who is the de rigueur young player to fawn over. Why are we Jazz fans (myself included) quickly trying to re-evaluate our expectations for this guy? Well, this off season he completely changed his body. He's a young guy and a hard worker. He did not take the off-season "off". All players report into camp "in the best shape of their lives;" however, in the case of Kanter I think this may actually be the case. But with Enes is more than just what he's done in the off season. Yes, he went to the Playboy mansion, partied in Cali and Chitown, and worked out a lot. He also worked on his game and it shows.
In the NBA preseason he's averaging 10.5 ppg and 11.5 rpg, while playing 21 mpg. (Again, that's how much Big Al is playing, and Big Al is averaging 12.0 ppg and 5.0 rpg) Kanter is doing work right now. He has back to back double doubles and he's doing "it". What is "it"? I don't really know, but it is everything Kyrylo Fesenko, Kosta Koufos, Ante Tomic, Goran Suton, and countless others have not done.
And I'm not even talking about Kanter making all his FTs in the pre-season either.
Enes is chewing up other teams right now. No Bogut, Kanter did work off the bench. No Kendrick Perkins, Kanter did work off the bench. No Dwight Howard? Kanter will need to keep up his streak of doing work.
And I think he can. And should.