It’s been a long time coming for Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors. After waiting patiently behind on the bench and fighting for minutes, it’s finally their time to shine.
Kanter has already shown his soft touch around the rim, while Favors has proven his worth at protecting it at the other end. So which one is leading the frontcourt?
Is it possible for two big men to equally share the spotlight? Or will one always undoubtedly fall into the role of sidekick? After watching the Jazz fall to the Blazers for the second time this preseason, I recognized a unique relationship between Favors and Kanter—they are like Batman and Robin.
The only problem is: which one is which?
Kanter goes for 16 points in the first quarter alone, and 23 total. Favors pulls in 17 rebounds with 2 blocks. Kanter has shown an impressive knack for positioning, with put backs and pull ups. Favors is already putting up excellent defensive numbers.
So who runs the show and who plays second fiddle? Well, each has his weaknesses as well. Favors hasn’t really shown the development on the offensive end like many thought he would. Kanter lacks quickness to cover the way he needs to on defense, often struggling against the pick and roll.
At this point, neither has claimed the position of caped crusader. Which also means that neither has been relegated to The Boy Wonder. Until one of them decides to take the reigns, we might be looking at split superhero roles for the two bigs. Offensive Batman and Defensive Batman. They just might need to hand over the keys to Batmobile each time down the court, figuratively speaking.
All comic books aside, this offensive/defensive relationship might impact the way Kanter and Favors position on the roster. The Jazz offense, since the days of Karl Malone, has typically run through the power forward. They set up shop on the lower block and go to work. This role seems to fit Kanter’s skill set more than that of Favors. Defensively, centers are usually the ones to protect the rim. This responsibility clearly belongs to Favors.
Who’s to say that they should be classified into one position or the other? I don’t necessarily believe in forcing positional roles on players just because that’s the way it’s always been done. The NBA landscape is changing. In fact, The 2-time reigning championship team features a player that can play all five positions. So whether you think Kanter should technically play the four position or Favors should, they both need to work together. While they’re going through some growing pains, there might be nights where Favors has his way offensively, and Kanter shows some defensive presence.
All in all, the Jazz have two young, very impressive big men, each more skilled on one end of the floor than the other. But together, they cover each other’s weaknesses, kind of like a super hero and his trusty sidekick. Except in this case, they trade off in handling the bad guys based on offense and defense.
Hopefully the duo will become more like Batman and Superman together, and we can forget about Robin all together. No one, if given the choice, takes Robin anyway. Robin doesn’t beat the bad guys on his own.