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Enes Kanter says he couldn’t play the way he wanted to due to shoulder injury

Enes Kanter, Blazers

The Portland Trail Blazers came up short in Game 1 versus the Denver Nuggets. It has become apparent early on that center Enes Kanter is not feeling 100 percent.

Kanter has been nursing a shoulder injury he suffered in the opening round versus the Oklahoma City Thunder and was even listed as questionable going into Game 1. According to Ben Golliver of the Washington Post, he feels the injury definitely held him back:

“I cannot play the way I want to play, obviously. It’s in the back of my head out there. It’s the playoffs: win or go home. I don’t have another choice.”

Kanter added that he will likely be on heavy medication in order to subdue the pain moving forward.

“Painkillers, injections, anything I can do to help my teammates. It doesn’t matter: one arm, two arms.”

Enes Kanter had suffered a separated shoulder in Game 5 in the opening series versus the Thunder. Despite the injury, he was still able to power through and help the Blazers clinch the series. He played relatively well from an offensive standpoint in Game 1 against the Nuggets. He finished with 26 points on an efficient 11-of-14 shooting. Unfortunately, he did little to contain Denver with his defense or on the glass.

Kanter did little to limit center Nikola Jokic from imposing his will throughout the night as he finished with 37 points and six assists. Denver took full advantage of Portland’s lack of depth in the frontcourt with Jusuf Nurkic sidelined with a broken leg. This puts Kanter in a rather precarious position moving forward. Although he would rather give them quality minutes, it seems the Blazers cannot afford to have him out for extended periods of time.