clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Atkinson: We need Kilpatrick to be all around player

Brooklyn Nets v Boston Celtics Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Sean Kilpatrick finally broke out of his preseason funk on Monday in Boston, scoring 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting in his first start. To give you an idea of how bad he had looked prior to Monday, he’s still only shooting 37.5 percent overall.

Now, says Kenny Atkinson, the 6’4” swingman needs to improve other parts of his game if he’s to get minutes this season.

“Sean’s going to get his shots,” Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said. “It’s a fine line. He’s a scorer. We love him being aggressive. But it’s also got to be within what we’re doing. We prefer open shots, obviously, and we’re coaching him there. But you can stray too far and then you take away what he does really well.

“My challenge to him, with his size and athletic ability, is: ‘We need you to defend better. We need you to rebound better.’ It’s important. That’s going to earn him more minutes.”

His competition for minutes includes Bojan Bogdanovic, who’s the likely starter; Randy Foye, the veteran at 33; and Joe Harris, a sharpshooter who’s looked good but has been inconsistent. None are great defenders ... or even good defenders. And at some point, Caris LeVert, the rookie, will join the mix. He can defend.

“I want to be a more all-around player,” Kilpatrick said. “I think that’s something that will help this team and I want to continue to keep defending and being able to rebound. Rebounding for a big guard, I think that’s something that will help our team. Me being the tough guy I am, I think that’s something that will help. I want to keep developing and learning.”

Kilpatrick’s deal is guaranteed for this year at $950,000 but the Nets hold a team option on next year. So he’ll have to prove himself this season, not just for the Nets, but for his career.