New York Notes: Okafor, Lee, LeVert

Jahlil Okafor hasn’t found much success on the court since being traded to the Nets, but coach Kenny Atkinson believes the big man is simply a “victim of circumstance,” as Brian Lewis of the New York Post relays.

“Sometimes it’s just circumstances,” Atkinson said. “I’d say his approach, his buy-in to what we’re doing, has been phenomenal. His buy-in to our performance team and getting his body, improving his body has been phenomenal. So, very pleased.”

Atkinson had shortened his rotation before giving the Duke product some run against the Sixers on Sunday. Okafor, who will be a free agent after the season, had four points in his five minutes of action and he may see more court time during the last month of the season.

“He has some days where he gets a little down, which is normal,” the coach added. “But he picks it right back up and has really busted his tail. So hopefully in these last games we can find opportunities for him to get there. I’d like to see more, so hopefully we get to that point.”

Here’s more from the Big Apple:

  • Courtney Lee, who was the subject of trade rumors earlier this season, isn’t happy with the Knicks‘ effort on the court lately. “Effort is the key to everything,” Lee exclaimed (via Fred Kerber of the New York Post). “It takes no talent to run from the paint out to contest a 3-point shot, that’s just all effort. We have to get everybody’s effort. Everybody’s got to be locked in.” The shooting guard is under contract with New York through the 2019/20 season.
  • Nets GM Sean Marks always believed former No. 20 overall pick Caris LeVert would develop into a reliable playmaker despite criticism from naysayers who argued that the team made a mistake by taking the Michigan product that high, as Bryan Fonseca of SB Nation relays. LeVert, whom the team gave up Thaddeus Young in order to acquire, is averaging 5.3 assists per contest this season.
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5 thoughts on “New York Notes: Okafor, Lee, LeVert

  1. Z-A

    Give him over 20 minutes and he gets double digit points or boards. He isn’t an “instant offense” guy, that’s what a 3 point specialist may be in 5 minutes. Not a big man. Teams still have no clue how to play reserve bigs to get the most out of them. Pretty sure they can use analytics to figure this out if I can blatantly look at game log and figure it out. Bums playing over guys with potential on a team going no where?

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    • Rewane

      Nets probably doesn’t want to showcase him and lose him later because they are unable to pay him more than his declined team option.

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    • Regi Green

      You ignore the part of the game log where it says -15 in 7 minutes of action…..that’s why he don’t stay on the floor….also read a line from him saying,”they didn’t tell me why I’m not getting minutes or what I have to do to get back on the floor”, perhaps the fact that he needs to be told what he needs to work on is part of the problem.

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  2. KCelts

    Remember when there was a big debate between KAT and Okafor as to who should be number 1 overall? Man those days are long gone.

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