Blazers’ Enes Kanter crashes into woman sitting near the court
The Portland Trail Blazers played the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night in Portland. The game marked a collision between the present and past basketball worlds of Enes Kanter. It also marked a collision of a different kind.
Kanter had played for the Thunder, but this time he stood on the other side of the divide as a member of the Trail Blazers. These two teams are part of the fierce six-team battle for playoff seeding in the Western Conference, so it stood to reason that Kanter and the Thunder would go all-out in this contest.
Not all NBA games are created equal. Some installments of the long 82-game schedule are games in which teams just try to get through the night. This did not figure to be one such example.
Enes Kanter proved why in this clip:
"Kanter went right into Leopard Lady." 😂 pic.twitter.com/3fGqq5MNio
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) March 8, 2019
The Blazers and Thunder began Thursday night tied with the Houston Rockets for third in the Western Conference at 39-25. Portland and OKC, along with Houston, are vying for both home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs and the No. 3 seed in the West, which is likely to offer the added value of avoiding the Golden State Warriors until the Western Conference Finals. This is not a guaranteed reality, since the Denver Nuggets could still overtake the Warriors for the No. 1 seed, but most people — if they had to bet — would say the Warriors will be the top seed.
Therefore, getting the No. 3 seed matters. The extent to which the Blazers and Thunder competed on Thursday — reflected in that play by Enes Kanter, in a game which went down to the wire — offered a clear visual representation of how much these teams want that No. 3 seed.