Enes Kanter is out “indefinitely” with a dislocated shoulder, according to Steve Luhm of The Salt Lake Tribune. Kanter suffered the injury against the Suns last night, and this is a fairly large shakeup for the Jazz, who are just a half game behind the Lakers for the No. 8 seed.
Kanter, though he plays just 15.4 minutes per game, is one of the Jazz’s top defenders. When he’s on the court, they allow 8.4 fewer points per 100 possessions, easily the team’s best mark. Kanter ranks 26th in the NBA in points allowed per play, according to MySynergySports, and he’s capable of defending the pick-and-roll and the post.
Despite the obvious downside of losing a promising player, Utah might actually come out ahead. The Jazz have typically rely on ineffective lineups and allocate their minutes poorly, and Tyrone Corbin will be forced to reconfigure his rotation. With solid bigs Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap and Derrick Favors available, Corbin has options.
Of course, this is a dangerous game to play with a coach he has given more than seven times as many minutes to Jefferson-Millsap (-2.5 net rating) and Favors-Jefferson (-8.6) combos as he’s given to Favors-Millsap (+2.9). (As a baseline, Utah has a –1.0 net rating for the season.)