Blazers' Enes Kanter feeling 'blessed' after win against Thunder

After a first-round playoff win against the Oklahoma City Thunder in which he posted 20 points and 18 rebounds, Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter said he was feeling blessed and for good reason, too.

Speaking to reporters after the game, Kanter recalled his stint with the New York Knicks and his lack of playing time.

“I was on the worst team in the league and I wasn’t even playing because they thought I was too old to play,” Kanter said. “With the situation and all the drama, it was so frustrating because all I just wanted to [do was] go out there and just win.

Kanter added, “A couple of days ago, I looked up in the mirror and I said ‘Man, I am blessed to just be here with an amazing organization and amazing teammates.’ They trust in me. It definitely feels amazing.

On Feb. 7, just hours after the NBA trade deadline, the New York Knicks released Kanter. He was averaging 14 points, 10.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 44 games, but the team was moving in a different direction.

Several days later, the Trail Blazers signed Kanter to help with their playoff push. The team finished the season with the third seed in the Western Conference and a 53-29 record.

In 23 games with the Blazers, Kanter averaged 13.1 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists.

The Trail Blazers and Thunder play Game 2 on Tuesday night.

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