New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale recently spoke with Enes Kanter. One of the key takeaways: Fizdale wants Kanter to shoot more threes.
New York Knicks center Enes Kanter is known for two defining traits: Elite rebounding ability and bruising post play. As he further displayed in 2017-18, he can score at virtual will from the low block and control the boards on both ends of the floor.
As Kanter prepares for the next phase of his NBA career, however, he appears to be accepting the need to modernize his offensive game.
In a previous era, Kanter may have been an All-Star with his ability to score and rebound at elite levels for his position. In the present, however, big men must be able to either space the floor or switch against the pick and roll, if not both.
Approaching his eighth NBA season, Kanter is beginning to display a critical trait with fundamentally sound shooting form from beyond the three-point line.
In the days that followed said tweet, a question surfaced amongst Knicks fans: Who or what convinced Kanter to embrace the three-ball? It’s certainly fair to ask, as Kanter is preparing to enter his eighth NBA season, and attempted just two three-point field goals in 2017-18.
Per Marc Berman of The New York Post, it was recently hired Knicks head coach David Fizdale who convinced Kanter to embrace the shot.
"“[Fizdale] told me he wants me to stretch the floor next year by making 3’s and I’m working on it,’’ he said. “I feel more comfortable taking them and more confident. Coach Fiz wants me to start taking them. If my coach says take them, I’m not going to say no. I’ll start shooting them in practice and then in the game.”"
This could be presented as a random development, but it’s worth noting that Kanter actually began to utilize the three-ball in Utah.
In 2014-15, Kanter shot 13-of-41 from beyond the arc in 45 games with the Utah Jazz. He attempted just four three-point field goals in 26 appearances after being traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, but posted 21 attempts from distance in 82 games in 2015-16.
Kanter upped the tally to 38 attempts in 2016-17, but under former Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek, he produced a grand total of two shots from beyond the arc.
Having attempted to add the three-ball in the past, it’s encouraging to know that Fizdale is permitting Kanter to shoot with more regularity.
It’s worth noting that Fizdale played an instrumental role in both Chris Bosh and Marc Gasol expanding their range to beyond the three-point line. Bosh converted 50 three-point field goals in seven seasons before joining Fizdale in Miami, while Gasol made 12 in eight years.
Bosh went on to make 255 three-point field goals in six seasons with Miami, and Gasol converted 213 in the mere two years after Fizdale was hired in Memphis.
If David Fizdale manages to help Enes Kanter in the way he did Chris Bosh and Marc Gasol, it could make the New York Knicks an entirely different team.