Caris LeVert’s three-point shooting will play a vital role in determining the Brooklyn Nets’ effectiveness in their half-court sets moving forward.
There have been questions, or downright concerns surrounding Caris LeVert and if he can, in fact, play alongside Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving on the Brooklyn Nets next season without sacrificing his or either superstars’ offense.
All we can do at this given moment is speculate how the fit might work, or how it might flounder. However, if he continues to shoot the three-ball with the same efficiency he’s shown over the last five weeks, I’ll take the former.
Since February 1, LeVert is shooting 42.2 percent from distance and is shooting a rather remarkable 44.4 percent on 4.2 pull-up threes per contest.
Once more, he’s shooting efficiently on a volume that far exceeds what can be considered a norm for his career. In that timeframe, he’s shot 6.4 three-point field goals per contest, which is a significant upgrade on his career average of 3.7.
It should be noted that he’s only shooting 34.4 percent on catch and shoot threes over the past six weeks, which would probably act as a good amount of his offense next season alongside Durant and Irving, but the low volume of attempts (1.9) shouldn’t necessarily warrant too much distress about his inefficiency.
It’s been long believed that for LeVert to thrive next season, he’s going to have to alter his approach on both ends of the floor to maximize his effectiveness in the rotation. It’s unlikely that his 28.8 percent usage rate this season carries over into the following campaign.
He could, however, act as a mercenary off the bench, perhaps with the likes of Spencer Dinwiddie, or hell, even Chris Chiozza. In such a role, it’s plausible to believe he’d demand most of the offense for the second unit.
Hypothetically, that may sound like the most alluring fit for the 25-year-old, but it’s not like he’s just never going to share the court with the two franchise cornerstones.
In end-game scenarios, he’s going to be playing alongside the big dogs. It’s also in the realm of possibility to believe he’s going to be out there with the starters from the opening tip-off. Of course, all this relies on Sean Marks and the Nets keeping him in an offseason clouded with uncertainty.
It’s not just his perimeter shooting that has been impressive, either. His abilities as a playmaker have been on display since the beginning of February. In fact, since February 1, not only is he shooting lights out from the perimeter but he’s also dishing out 5.3 assists per game.
Likewise, he’s also holding opponents to 43.9 percent shooting over his last 17 contests. In comparison to his first 22 games, where opponents were shooting 46.3 percent against his often lackluster defensive acumen, you begin to see some strides in that aspect of his game as well.
If the Nets keep LeVert heading into the opening night of the 2020/21 NBA season, he’s going to have to maintain his defensive intensity and be able to find Durant and Irving in rhythm when they’re off ball. But above all else, that three-point shot needs to carry over. Because if it does, this team is going to have a pretty dynamic trio.