Having a healthy Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving will mean major changes for Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Both players had the ball in their hands a lot last season, but they will have to adjust to complementary roles as the Nets‘ offense focuses on the two stars.
“One is the greatest scorer of all time,” Dinwiddie said. “You’ve got to really recognize that, and get the ball where it needs to go. So you know everybody else needs to process and act accordingly, and then do what’s best to help the team win. There hasn’t been any explicit conversations, but to think that you’re going to be trying to take the ball out of KD’s hands probably isn’t the smartest thing.”
LeVert ranked fourth in the league in isolation attempts last season and had a 29.5% usage rate, which was the highest of his career. He spent the offseason working on his catch-and-shoot game to try to capitalize on the open opportunities that Durant and Irving will provide.
“I haven’t really been asked to do that stuff in the NBA,” he said. “So I love playing off the ball. It’s fun for me. I can’t wait to do that this season; it’s going to be very beneficial for all of us.”
There’s more from Brooklyn:
- Power forward/center Nicolas Claxton has been diagnosed with right knee tendinopathy and may miss the rest of training camp, Lewis tweets. Claxton felt discomfort in the knee while working out this week, according to the team. He will begin a rehabilitation and strengthening program, and any updates on his status “will be issued as appropriate.” It’s the latest injury concern for Claxton, who wasn’t able to participate in the NBA’s restart after having shoulder surgery in June.
- Head coach Steve Nash understands that improvement on defense will be necessary to compete for a title, Lewis adds in a separate story. That part of the game will be entrusted to former interim coach Jacque Vaughn, who is now Nash’s lead assistant. “Jacque started to put his imprints and adjustments into the defense in the bubble,” Nash said. “I think that many of them were similarly aligned with the way I see things, so we’ve had a really enjoyable process going through the film and looking around the league and figuring out what suits our team and the game the way it’s played nowadays.”
- The written statement that Irving gave to reporters this week in lieu of interviews doesn’t mean he plans to bypass traditional media all season, tweets Ian Begley of SNY.tv.