What I am about to say might seem like yelling FIRE in a crowded movie theatre; a theatre packed with all my friends. My Nets friends. But I have to say it. At the beginning of the season, Caris Levert emerged as the number one scoring option. Especially at the end of games. DLow was not yet the All-Star and we were all still uncertain about his future. Spencer, great from the start led the second team.
After Caris went down the team collapsed into the infamous losing streak. All seemed lost. But the team regained its rhythm, new stars emerged and the Nets took the league by storm surprising everyone. And they did this WITHOUT Caris Levert. They played like men possessed.
However, when Caris returned something changed. And even more so when he once again joined the starting lineup. That fast-paced team basketball which always seemed to find the open man for the best shot; one where every player seemed to get better and better every game--all of a sudden we saw a lot of ISO plays with everyone standing around watching.
I think this was and still is due to Caris Levert's return. Rather than Caris fitting in with the style of play that had developed, he tried to become the first scoring option again. This has resulted in lack of ball movement, lack of moving without the ball, lack of finding the best open man and best shot. We keep losing momentum, even when ahead.
In many games that started well, we seemed to lose momentum and often when Caris came into the game. It seemed that many of his drives to the basket were forced, often without a clear lane. He turned the ball over too often.
I love Caris Levert and I believe he will again emerge as a young rising star. BUT, his role needs to change. At least at this moment in the race to the playoffs. He needs to be one among many options, not a one-man ISO team. We had no problem putting up big numbers without him. Our defence finally got good and we won.
I think Caris Levert should come off the bench with a more defined and perhaps a more limited role. He will get stronger I have no doubt. Yes, he will be a star again. BUT, he is only one man among a group of very talented young players. HE needs to fit into the team. Not the other way around.
I hope the above, which is very difficult to write, doesn't offend too many people. I've been a fan since Commack Arena! I was born in Brooklyn after all and our young team has a bright future.
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.