Brooklyn Nets: 3 Players that need to step up down the stretch

Taurean Prince Brooklyn Nets. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Taurean Prince Brooklyn Nets. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /
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Brooklyn Nets
Caris LeVert Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

#3) Caris LeVert

Performances such as the one Caris LeVert had against the Washington Wizards back on February 26, where he registered 34 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists, and 4 steals on 50.0/62.5/81.8 splits, provide the Nets with the one thing nearly every executive yearns for entering an offseason or a trade deadline: leverage.

Leverage that this is a guy they, potentially, don’t need to deal this summer. Confidence that he’s a guy they could plug into the starting rotation with the big dogs, or utilize as a sixth or seventh man on the bench beside Spencer Dinwiddie. Or leverage in the regard that LeVert, in a high-usage role, can be used as significant trade bait as a guy that can carry the offensive workload for a roster and finally emerge as the All-Star many of us had booked for him entering his sophomore season.

These types of performances can not be overstated. However, they don’t happen enough.

Consistency has always eluded LeVert; that’s the unfortunate reality when dissecting his career up to this point (you also have to mention untimely injuries, which just suck). But if there ever was a time the Nets needed LeVert to find regularity in his strong performances, it’s now.

Atkinson has gifted him that proverbial green light to hoist shots to his heart content. Over the past six games, LeVert is averaging 20.5 field-goal attempts per contest—which is 10.1 shots more than his 10.4 career average. However, he’s shot better than 40 percent in just two of those six contests.

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From here until the end of the season, he’s going to get his looks. It’s just a matter of actually connecting on them. The good news is that he’s proven in the past he can play like a star with an increased offensive role, I’ll use last year’s playoff series against the Sixers as testimony. That’s the Caris LeVert the Brooklyn Nets need right now.