Caris LeVert got the start at the 3 Wednesday night, but whether that’s because he’s already earned the job with an outstanding training camp or simply because Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was unavailable with a strained left abductor he sustained in August has yet to be determined.
LeVert did a lot of things to like. He was assertive with the ball, getting into the paint seven times and throwing down a nifty dunk on the baseline off a slick feed from D’Angelo Russell (his only make in the restricted area).
King James Gospel
He had a pair of assists, got an offensive rebound and got four steals as the Knicks struggled mightily to hold onto the basketball (New York turned the ball over 25 times, including nine in the first quarter alone).
LeVert had an outstanding first quarter, going 4-for-7, hitting his only 3 and nabbing three of his steals, scoring nine points as the Nets opened a 26-17 lead.
The rest of the way, LeVert was 2-for-7 with six points and two turnovers.
Strong start, not a terrific finish.
His 3-point shot still looks funky, with a release that seems almost too quick, as if he’s rushing even when uncovered.
LeVert’s bread-and-butter will always be what he can do off the dribble with that lightning-quick first step. But he’ll have to make enough shots from deep to open up those lanes, as the Knicks simply stopped covering him from outside after awhile.