Enes Kanter working with Jaylen Brown in two-on-two games against Tacko Fall, Gordon Hayward

Enes Kanter working with Jaylen Brown in two-on-two games against Tacko Fall, Gordon Hayward

Right now, the Bucks sit head and shoulder above everyone else in the Eastern Conference. No Kawhi Leonard in Toronto gives Milwaukee a significantly easier path to the NBA Finals.

After the Bucks, the 76ers seem to be the favorite for second place in East.

Mixed in the debate for third are the Celtics. Boston’s losses and acquisitions, along with question marks surrounding guys who stuck around, make it hard to foresee where the C’s will finish.

Though not hard enough for Enes Kanter to make a prediction. The new Celtics center was plenty confident when discussing his team with HoopsHype’s Alex Kennedy.

“People are just so focused on the Clippers and Lakers … and sometimes Milwaukee and Philly,” Kanter said, “But I definitely think we can shock the world. I already got a chance to work out with some of the guys, and I think it’s going be a very exciting season.”

Among those he’s worked out with, Kanter specifically mentioned Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward and Tacko Fall. The foursome has played some two-on-two, with Brown and Kanter partnering up.

“(Brown is) an amazing guy,” Kanter said. “(Two-on-two) was amazing! I’m definitely very excited to play with those guys.”

In addition to learning his new teammates, an area of focus entering the offseason was Kanter’s long-range shooting. It’s never been a major part of his game, but upon his signing, both Danny Ainge and Brady Stevens made it clear they liked Kanter’s potential from deep. With their support, Kanter expressed at his introductory press conference he’s more comfortable adding that to his game.

It has now become his primary focus.

“There’s not much back-to-the-basket play anymore — that left — and that’s my game,” Kanter told HoopsHype. “Of course, with the league changing, everybody has to be able to make three-point shots now. That’s why my focus this summer is my three-point shooting. When I talked to Brad Stevens, he told me he wanted me to shoot threes. In the press conference, I was sitting next to Danny Ainge and he told me, ‘You know, that three-point line isn’t for decoration.’ I was like, ‘Got it! Okay!’

While Kanter’s lack of a three-point shot wasn’t exactly a problem looking toward the 2019-20 season, the same can’t be said for his defense. He can handle back-to-the-basket players, but struggles switching off screens in a pick-and-roll-heavy NBA. That may be difficult to address right now, but is something the Celtics absolutely have to deal with at training camp.



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Source: GreenStreet Blog

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