Nets coach Kenny Atkinson confident Kyrie Irving-Caris LeVert partnership will work
With Kevin Durant out for the entire 2019-20 season, the Brooklyn Nets will look to the duo of Kyrie Irving and Caris LeVert to lift the offense. From head coach Kenny Atkinson’s perspective, this newly formed partnership will work.
Irving is known as one of the most potent scorers in the league. He gets his buckets mainly through his own creation — either through his Kobe Bryant-like mastery of the perimeter shot or through his arsenal of dribbling moves en route to a smooth layup finish. Yet Atkinson revealed that Irving admitted he has something else up his sleeve: his ability to be a catch-and-shoot type of player.
“Kyrie is a great catch-and-shoot shooter,” Kenny Atkinson said Monday. “Kyrie always tells me, ‘I’m really good off the ball, too.’ When Caris is driving, you know you have another shooter out there, so, I think it works well…I always say that I’d love multiple ball handlers, multiple downhill guys. At the end of the day, that’s what sucks the defense in.”
LeVert missed 42 games last season due to a dislocated ankle. But in the 40 games he played (25 starts), he quickly made an imprint on the Nets’ offense. He logged in a career best of 13.7 points and 3.8 rebounds across 26.6 minutes per game. This included several outings where he dropped over 20 points.
It’s a telling sign that LeVert is capable of turning into a special player in the league. With Irving there as his partner as well as his mentor, the sky is the limit for LeVert.