Caris LeVert did a terrific job of finishing the shots he got Saturday night. The problem was he just didn’t get very many. LeVert went 8-for-9 en route to finishing with 19 points, but that was part of the problem — he only got the nine shots.
LeVert scored five points in the first quarter and made all three of his attempts in the third as he knocked down seven points. But he wasn’t getting some of the calls he got in the first two games, getting to the line just once and hitting 1-of-2.
He also got careless with the ball, coughing it up four times, as his opposite number, All-Star Victor Oladipo, was fully engaged defensively. Oladipo had four steals on the night and led the Pacers with 25 points.
It was a night where the Nets could have used a more assertive LeVert. It’s great to be a good teammate and stay within the confines of the offense, but when the game is starting to slip away is when you need a go-to guy to step up and take control.
LeVert had been that guy in the first two games, but only asserted himself sporadically on Saturday night.
Spencer Dinwiddie will talk to the officials. He’s shown that during his time with the Brooklyn Nets and it was a habit that was costly on Saturday night.
Should Dinwiddie have gotten more calls than he did? Probably. But here’s the thing — you’re on the road, playing for a team that doesn’t have a lot of cache and you’re not a superstar. Talk to the officials when you have a chance to, such as during a stoppage in play.
But what you can’t do is distract yourself from getting back on defense because you are yapping at the refs. Dinwiddie was guilty of that more than once against the Pacers and that is the sort of thing you can’t do against a good team.
Dinwiddie had some nice moments, stroking a couple of 3s and getting to the rim. But some nights, you don’t get the calls. Often those nights are on the road against good teams. He needs to learn to pick his spots to bark a little more carefully.