Enes Kanter has expressed a desire to play more minutes, with the clash between him and the Knicks only just getting started, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. Kanter has averaged 26.6 minutes per game, starting in 23 of the team’s 37 games this season.
“We’re down by like 40 or 50,” Kanter said, according to Berman. “It’s very embarrassing. I understand we want our young guys to get better, but it’s very painful to watch it. … I have no idea why they’re doing that.”
Kanter is referring to the Knicks’ blowout loss at Utah last weekend, a game in which New York trailed by as many as 40 points. He shot 0-for-6 from the field and registered a minus-30 rating in 17 minutes of action, only adding to his frustration.
Kanter and the Knicks could explore a buyout or trade in the coming weeks, Berman notes, but Kanter’s love for the fans and city of New York may play a role in his eventual decision.
“I like it here,’’ Kanter said, as relayed by Berman in a separate story. “I like the fans here. Lot of good people here. Lot of good teammates. And I’m trying to stay positive, trying to support my teammates. All I can do right now, it’s a test and it’s definitely one of the hardest tests of my career. I’ve just got to stay positive.
“I do love New York. I’ve got no problem with New York. I’ve got no problem with the team, the organization or the fans. I love the media. [But] I want to play.”
There’s more out of the Atlantic Division today:
- Celtics guard Kyrie Irving suffered a scratched cornea in his left eye against the Spurs on Monday, according to A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports. Irving was on the receiving end of an accidental elbow from Marco Belinelli, but later re-entered the game for his team. “It’s both eyes,” Irving, who was wearing sunglasses, said postgame. “He [Belinell] smacked the s— out of me. He caught me pretty good.” Celtics coach Brad Stevens noted Irving would take antibiotics, but that he isn’t sure what the injury holds beyond Monday.
- The Sixers are interested in adding perimeter help before the end of the season, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer notes. Philadelphia completed a blockbuster deal to acquire All-Star Jimmy Butler in November, but the team club lacks the perimeter talent needed to become a well-rounded contender outside of its “Big Three.” The NBA’s trade deadline falls on February 7 this season.
- Several Raptors players have seen their roles change over the past 12 months, Doug Smith of the Toronto Star writes. The Raptors hired a new head coach in Nick Nurse, re-signed Fred VanVleet on a multi-year deal, and struck a blockbuster trade to acquire Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green in the summer of 2018. Despite the moving parts, Toronto currently holds a 27-11 record and the No. 2 record in the Eastern Conference.