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Knicks’ Enes Kanter is apparently happy again after playing big minutes in win over Lakers

Enes Kanter, Knicks

New York Knicks big man Enes Kanter recently expressed his displeasure on his demotion to a reserve role and said that it pains him to spend majority of the game watching from the bench, especially as the losses pile up.

But after the Knicks’ huge 119-112 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday, it appears Kanter is happy once again as seen from his tweet:

The Knicks sent the Turkish big man to the second unit after starting in the first 23 games of the season. Since his demotion to the bench, Enes Kanter is playing roughly 24 minutes per game, which is just slightly less compared to the 28 minutes he played as a starter.

Still, despite the cut in minutes, his production has not faltered as much. He is averaging 14.8 points and 10.3 rebounds and shooting around 57.1 percent from the field as a starter. As a reserve, he is putting up 13.8 points and 11.3 rebounds per contest, but is shooting at a significantly less efficient clip at 49.7 percent.

The former third overall pick had played significantly less over the last three games prior to their huge win against the Lakers. He averaged 17 minutes per game over that stretch and even went scoreless in one of them.

But Kanter got big minutes during Friday night’s victory, playing 27 minutes despite still coming off the bench. He finished his night with 16 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the field and 5-of-7 from the line. He also hauled in 15 rebounds and swatted away three shots to help the Knicks secure the road win and snap their eight-game losing skid.

Nonetheless, New York is not looking to compete for a playoff spot as it looks toward the lottery once again. Moreover, it makes sense for the Knicks to start givingĀ their young bigs like Mitchell Robinson (once he gets healthy) and Noah Vonleh more burn. Thus, Kanter’s season-long outlook might be spent more on the bench rather than on the court.