Enes Kanter adding rim protection to his game - calling himself "The Stop Sign"

Celtics center, Enes Kanter, has never averaged more then 0.5 blocks per game in his 8-plus seasons in the NBA - until now. His most minutes-played happened in 2014-15 with OKC (31.1 MPG), and 0.5 BPG was all the rim protection he could provide. He came to the Celtics with the label of a big man who could score close to the hoop and rebound, but rim protection was never mentioned as an attribute.

That has changed recently. In Boston's 109-92 win over the Charlotte Hornets last night, in addition to his double-double (13 points, 14 boards), he blocked a career-high six shots. Enes is now averaging 1.6 blocks/game over the last nine games, and his overall defense has been commendable.


During the first portion of this season, Kanter has transitioned into a more-complete player. He puts up points - takes down boards - protects the rim - and provides interior and perimeter defense that was not originally expected of him. He has been telling his teammates that he is the team's "Stop Sign."


The Celtics newly-embedded "Stop Sign" is averaging a double-double while only turning the ball over 0.8 times per game over the last nine contests, and he is accomplishing this while playing less than half the game (20.6 MPG). Credit both Enes and coach Brad Stevens with this transition. Stevens is known for getting the most out of his players, and that seems to be the case with Kanter. After the beating at the hands of Joel Embiid and his 76'ers on December 12, Brad quietly stated that he lacked a "strong, old-school center". He may have one now in Enes Kanter.

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