After Caris LeVert missed Brooklyn’s preseason opener, he was back against Boston on Friday for his first game action since an outstanding run on the NBA Campus in Orlando. While head coach Steve Nash has stressed throughout the week that lineups and rotations will be fluid, he did stick with Spencer Dinwiddie in the starting lineup, bringing LeVert off the bench.
“I just try to be in go mode all the time, attacking, whether that’s coming off a ball screen, looking for guys, playing off the ball, being ready to catch and shoot, or being ready to attack in transition,” said LeVert. “I feel like I’m always just aggressive, and that’s going to be my role going forward, whether I’m starting or coming off the bench. I’m just aggressive trying to get guys involved, trying to get my own shot, trying to make winning plays out there.”
LeVert scored 18 points in 21 minutes, shooting 6-of-13 overall and 2-of-3 from 3-point range.
“Caris can score as fast as anybody,” said Kevin Durant. “He can play off the ball and shoot the 3, but I think for us when he comes in and handles the rock with me and Kyrie out on the floor that's going to open the floor up for him so much more. And we're going to need him to be aggressive, you know especially coming off that bench and commanding that second unit. It's good for him to come back out on the floor after missing that first preseason game and a couple of days of practice. Hopefully he just keeps getting better and more comfortable in that role.”
LeVert’s 21 minutes matched Dinwiddie’s, and aside from Kyrie Irving and Durant playing 28 minutes each, minutes were spread pretty evenly among the rotation in the high teens. While LeVert took a lead role with the second unit, he also saw time sharing the floor with Durant and Irving.
“Caris is versatile, skillful player,” said Nash. “I thought he looked great with them, I thought he looked great without them. So we’ve got a lot of options there, versatility.”
The Nets essentially went 11 deep against Boston before eventually playing a total of 14 players.
“We’ve got lots of depth and lots of options,” said Nash. “(Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot has) had a great camp too. So, it’s hard. You try to fit everyone in. Lots of guys deserve to play, but we feel pretty confident about our second unit, whoever that is. It could change. It could be different guys in different scenarios in different nights. We definitely feel like depth is a strength for us, and those five guys that came in and relieved the first unit played very well.”