Enes Kanter Show: Celtics center ‘excited’ to return, confident in C’s chances

The NBA approved a plan Thursday to resume the 2019-20 season in July, and Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter can’t wait to get back.

«It’s like, finally, man. We’ve waited for this for a long time,» Kanter told NBC Sports Boston’s Celtics insider Chris Forsberg on the latest episode of the «The Enes Kanter Show» podcast. The Celtics center also said having basketball back will «bring so much joy in our lives.»

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One part of the league’s 22-team return format is that every one of those clubs will play eight more regular season games before the playoffs begin. What will those games be like for the players, and how important will they be? Kanter is glad the league is including them.

«It’s going to be like exhibition games, like the beginning of the season,» Kanter explained. «I think those games are badly needed, those games are going to get us ready for the playoffs.»

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The hype around the Celtics’ chances in the playoffs is slowly building. ESPN’s Jalen Rose predicted Thursday that the Celtics would actually win the Eastern Conference and reach the NBA Finals. Oddsmakers are a little less optimistic about the C’s chances, but Boston does rank among the top contenders in the East.

Kanter is confident in his team’s ability to beat whichever opponents stand in its way.

«I’m excited. I feel like we can beat every team on every floor, and every floor is only one floor now,» Kanter said. «There’s no home advantage or this advantage, whatever. We’re just going to go out there and see who’s the better team.»

Not only will the Celtics have physical obstacles to overcome before restarting the season — getting back into game shape won’t be easy — there are also mental challenges to take on. Kanter believes the Celtics are well-equipped to tackle these roadblocks.

«Mindset I think is the most important,» Kanter. «The game of basketball is like 80 percent mental. If you’re off, it doesn’t matter how good of a player you are. I think the Celtics did a really good job taking care of all that.»

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Enes Kanter Show: Celtics center ‘excited’ to return, confident in C’s chances originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston