Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Enes Kanter could contend for NBA Sixth Man Award: Knicks coach David Fizdale
By ADAM ZAGORIA
As Knicks coach David Fizdale continues to start Mitchell Robinson at center, he says Enes Kanter could be a candidate for the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award.
The 6-foot-11 Kanter entered Monday averaging 14.5 points and 10.5 rebounds. He then went out and put up 23 points and a career-high 24 rebounds off the bench in a 116-115 double-OT loss to the Chicago Bulls.
“I think in his heart of hearts, he probably had his heart set on starting,” Fizdale said Monday ahead of the game at MSG. “That’s a good thing to know that he wanted that. But I just think for our team, and for our future and what we’re trying to do, the way we got it right now I think is the right way to go.
“I thought he played great last game, I thought he gave us a heck of a game. And his attitude with the team and with all of us has been fantastic. So I just want him to keep settling into that role right now. Quite honestly, if we keep going this rout, he’s a guy that with the numbers he’s going to get — what did he have, 18 and 12 last game — he’s going to have his hat in that Sixth Man of the Year Award.”
The Knicks on Monday started their youngest lineup in history with Frank Ntilikina, Allonzo Trier, Damyean Dotson, Noah Vonleh and Robinson. Those players average 22 years and 100 days old.
By going young, Kanter, 26, has been relegated to a bench role, not ideal for a guy in a contract year. Kanter is making $18.6 million this year heading into free agency, and has said multiple times he wants to retire as a Knick.
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.