• Jac Manuell

Caris LeVert 2017-18 Season Review

Caris LeVert is one of the most intriguing pieces on the Brooklyn Nets roster. Despite starting off the season in slow fashion, the 23 year old built a solid stat-line to finish the 2017-18 campaign.

His pick and roll partnership with rookie Jarrett Allen was one of the highlights of the team’s season.

LeVert garnered 0.7 of his 4.2 assists per game to Allen, second only to sharpshooter, Joe Harris (0.8). However, Harris did receive 1.6 extra passes (4.9) from the sophomore guard, compared to the rookie center (3.3).

Down in the paint was where the duo did a heap of damage. His ability to find an opening between his opponents was nothing short of remarkable. There were times where he’d force the issue a little too much, giving the ball away, but for the most part his court awareness remained steady.

As mentioned earlier, his biggest struggles on the season came early, when his shooting woes impacted his sense of identity on the team. While he had some inconsistencies throughout his tenure his comfort levels and production increased, peaking in March with some great performances:

He found a spot on the perimeter that he shot well from, similar to that of LeBron, halfway between the left corner and top of the arc.

There’s still room for improvement in that area for him to become a legitimate threat but the signs are positive.

Another facet he should be looking to get better in is getting to the free throw line. He has a decent handle, a quick first step and can penetrate the defense pretty well so he should be averaging more than 2.6 free throw attempts per game.

More plays like this please:

With a greater minutes load and heavy summer in the gym, look for that number to jump to the 3.5-4 range.

Other than physically, LeVert’s real growth should be on the defensive end. Like Allen, LeVert has all the necessary physical tools to become a capable on and off ball defender. He led the team in steals (1.2 per game) and averaged 2.2 deflections to go with it.

Like many of the Nets’ young brigade he’d commit silly, frustrating fouls; his length and slight frame often being a detriment. Another off-season with the coaching staff should only improve his stocks on the defensive end. I’d like to see even more of these kinds of plays; he’s already a great spark plug off the bench and even more plays like this will invigorate him and the team as a whole on both ends.

Caris was a solid rebounder on the season too (3.7 RPG), though that’s another area he can get better in. With the Nets’ emphasising guard rebounding LeVert should be aiming to lift that number to five per game to utilise his strengths in transition. Ben Simmons and Russell Westbrook are two of the best rebounding floor generals and while LeVert is nowhere near in their league if he can lift his board numbers he can become a more lethal fast break threat.

There are lot of questions surrounding the future of the guard: what is his best position? Is he a better starter or supplementary piece? What lineups best utilise his talents?

He looks most comfortable running the floor at the one but with the glut of point guards on Brooklyn’s squad right now it’ll be fascinating to see his role next season.

As he mentioned on a podcast with Ryan Ruocco and C.C. Sabathia, his mindset is optimistic going forward:

“Stay even-keeled. There’s going to be up’s; going to be down’s. Stay consistent with attitude, effort.”

Let’s hope that attitude is infectious for the whole team going into summer workouts.

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