Kanter is expected to move back into the starting lineup for Wednesday's game against the Rockets, Steve Popper of Newsday reports. Kanter has come off the bench since Christmas, but with the news that Luke Kornet (ankle) will miss several weeks, Kanter is the top candidate to return to the starting five, with rookie Mitchell Robinson serving as the backup. Coach David Fizdale has limited Kanter to minutes in the mid-20s on most nights, but Kanter has still proven to be a valuable points/rebounds producer, even in fairly limited action.
Kanter had 11 points (5-11 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 1-1 FT), three rebounds and one assist across 19 minutes in Monday's 127-109 loss to the Thunder. Kanter returned from a three-game absence but came off the bench behind Luke Kornet, who exited the game after seven minutes with an ankle injury. Additionally, No. 2 center Mitchell Robinson fouled out in 16 minutes, so Kanter finished as the team leader in playing time at the position. Given the fact that coach David Fizdale intimated prior to the game that Kanter may not see minutes Monday, Kornet's injury complicates things a bit, as it's quite possible Kanter would have played a lesser role or none at all if the circumstances played out differently. Either way, Kanter reiterated after the game that he's not pleased with his role, per Ian Begley of ESPN.com. For now, he looks to be third on the depth chart, but Kanter could step back into expanded duties on the second unit in the short term if Kornet misses time.
Kanter will serve as the Knicks' third-string center Monday against the Thunder, Marc Berman of the New York Post reports. While Kanter is active for the first time in three games, coach David Fizdale made it clear that the big man is not guaranteed minutes Monday. Fizdale added that it's a "priority" to find playing time for fellow bigs Luke Kornet and Mitchell Robinson, making it sound like Kanter could continue to take a backseat to Kornet and Robinson moving forward.
Kanter (personal/illness) doesn't appear on the Knicks' injury report in advance of Monday's game against the Thunder. Kanter has been unavailable for the Knicks' last three games. On the first two occasions, Kanter was sidelined with an illness, while his most recent absence came in Thursday's loss to the Wizards, when he was unable to secure a visa that would allow him to travel to London for the game. With the Knicks having returned stateside, Kanter will be good to go for the start of the team's two-game homestand. He'll likely fill his usual role on the second unit, though he could notice a drop in the 25.3 minutes per game he's been averaging thus far in January now that fellow center Mitchell Robinson (groin/ankle) is back in the fold after a lengthy absence.
Kanter is not with the Knicks in London for Thursday's game against the Wizards, citing personal safety, Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN reports. Kanter has been politically outspoken about his home country of Turkey, and he'll opt to remain in America for his own safety, stating, "It's pretty sad that just all this stuff affects my career and basketball, because I want to be out there helping my team win... I can't even go out there and just do my job. So it's pretty sad." With Kanter out, Luke Kornet should continue to start at center.
Last 7 Games
|3 Year Avg||75||413||57.1||5||25.0||193||80.4||1024||13.65||1749|