Frustration can happen in the game of basketball. Some calls will go your way, and some will not. Enes Kanter fell victim to a little too much frustration as he punched a chair during Oklahoma City’s 109-98 victory this past Thursday night over Dallas.
The regrettable decision that broke his forearm is going to cost him at least four weeks, and Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported it could be 6-8 weeks. He already has had surgery and the Thunder will be looking to get through the next month or more without the big man.
So how will they fair?
Obviously depth was already a question for the Thunder. It will be in even more doubt without Kanter, but they will have the very reliable Russell Westbrook to count on. On the defensive end, they are not losing a lot of production with Kanter being out. Oklahoma City gives up 107.9 points per 100 possessions with him on the court and 101.6 points per 100 possessions when he’s on the bench.
Expect young slasher Jerami Grant to make a significant impact if the Thunder want to go small. Grant was acquired in a deal that sent Ersan Illyasova to the Sixers in exchange for Grant. He has the ability to play quick defense and play in up-tempo situations. His shooting still needs work, but this is an opportunity to see if the Thunder want to make him apart of their future.
Domantas Sabonis will get some more reliability, as well as an already producing Steven Adams. Adams is playing great basketball that he has carried over from last season. He had a big roll in the playoffs, but this will be some unfamiliar territory because Kanter was a great compliment.
With Kanter averaging 14.4 points and 6.7 rebounds in 21.6 minutes, while shooting 56.3 percent, you would think that the Thunder would become a smaller and more guard oriented. They were already guard heavy with Westbrook and Oladipo producing a lot of offense. They will still rely on those two and Adams but it will be interesting to see who is next to step up.
This will show the adversity of this Thunder team as the next 4-8 weeks will show where they fall in the playoff race. As of right now they have a pretty comfortable cushion and have to just continue the good basketball.