NBA Playoff X-Factors – East

Who’s willing to put their body on the line to win a playoff game? To do the dirty work? These are the Eastern Conference X-factors.


Brooklyn Nets

35-37, 7th in East
Season: 30-34
Bubble: 5-3

Sean: Caris LeVert

  • Maybe I’m cheating with this pick since Caris LeVert is the de facto “star” of this iteration of the Nets. I firmly believe they will only go as far as he can lead them through.  
  • LeVert is one of the shiftiest players in the league and his ability to pour in buckets from all over the court is something all teams should fear. The Raptors are one of the best defensive teams in the league but LeVert has a game that seems to transcend stoppers and schemes alike. Just ask the Celtics about the 51 points LeVert hung on fellow X-Factor Marcus Smart.   

James: Caris LeVert

  • “LeVert is cold” in the words of Damian Lillard. I’m not surprised that LeVert is playing at such a high level given the circumstances. Coming off an injury that was set to turn his career the other way.
  • An inside threat, LeVert is uberly quick and that first step to the hoop is his best as he leaves defenders in the dust. Inside and out, LeVert is seeing a productive season. If he gets going, it can ruin or set back the Raptors plans. A series that they can win wholeheartedly, LeVert will easily put up 20 points.
  • The only issue will be if he can keep a level head and not lose confidence. We saw that happen against Boston in the bubble shooting dry at 6/14. All in all with a gutted Nets team, LeVert keeps things above water at least in the first round.

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