Enes Kanter

Utah’s Enes Kanter has season-ending shoulder surgery


Utah’s Enes Kanter has been dealing with a dislocated left shoulder. As anyone who has had a dislocated shoulder can tell you, after you dislocate it once it is more susceptible to happening again. And again. And… you get the idea.

So Kanter will be out the rest of the season as he will have surgery to repair that shoulder, reports the Salt Lake Tribune.

“Frankly, this is good news,” (Jazz GM Dennis) Lindsey said. “The probability as given to us that something would happen to the shoulder is no greater than a shoulder that’s never been injured before.”

He said the likelihood of further injury was reduced by “surgical reattachment rather than straight rehab.”

Kanter, the No. 3 pick in the 2011 draft, has averaged 7.2 points and 4.3 rebounds in 15.4 minutes per game this season. His loss will be felt, but not that much as Derrick Favors has played very well lately.

This summer the Jazz will lose at least one of their two big men free agents, Al Jefferson or Paul Millsap. They will survive that just fine, however, because they have young and improving players in Favors and Kanter. So they need to think about the big picture, not just beating the Lakers out for the eight seed.

Kanter is out for any playoff series the Jazz are in but will be back next season for training camp.

James Harden: “I am the best player in the league. I believe that.”

James Harden, Stephen Curry
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James Harden was the MVP last season — if you ask his fellow NBA players.

The traditional award (based on a media vote) went to Stephen Curry (in the closest vote in four years), and that was the right call (in my mind). But from the time it happened Harden did not buy it. And he still doesn’t buy it. In the least — and he’s using that as fuel for this season. That’s what he told Fran Blinebury over at NBA.com.

“I am the best player in the league. I believe that,” he said. “I thought I was last year, too.”

Well, it’s a more realistic claim than Paul George’s.

“But that award means most valuable to your team. We finished second in the West, which nobody thought we were going to do at the beginning of the year even when everybody was healthy. We were near the top in having the most injuries. We won our division in a division where every single team made the playoffs.

“There’s so many factors. I led the league in total points scored, minutes played. Like I said, I’m not taking anything away from Steph, but I felt I deserved the Most Valuable Player. That stays with me.”

That’s very Kobe Bryant of you to turn that into fuel. Defining the MVP Award is an annual discussion that nobody agrees on.

I could get into how Harden was the old-school, traditional stats MVP, how that ignores how Steve Kerr used Curry, and how that opened up the Warriors’ offense to championship levels. Curry put up numbers, but he was also the distraction, the bright star that Kerr used to open up looks for Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and others. Curry’s strength was not just what he did with the ball in his hands, but his gravity to draw defenders even when he didn’t. Did the Warriors stay healthier than the Rockets? No doubt. Should Curry be penalized for that?

It’s simple for Harden — if he can put up those numbers again, if he can be the fulcrum of a top offense, he will be in the discussion for MVP again. And, if he can lead the Rockets beyond the conference finals, nobody will talk about that MVP snub anyway.