Former Michigan guard Caris LeVert is back in action, and he’s playing well after worrying he might never play again.
That was his initial reaction to a gruesome injury suffered a few months back at Minnesota. He dislocated his ankle, but he’s healed and leading the Brooklyn Nets toward a playoff spot.
“I thought I was done for at least a year, but here we are today,” LeVert told ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt Feb. 23. “It was tough, but I have great people around me. You’ve got to try to find the good things out of a situation like that. It was tough. I had put in so much work in the summertime, and it was starting to pay off.
“Three months off is a long time, but I feel like I’m getting back to where I was, for sure.”
The Nets have started using him in a lead ball handler role, and he stepped up with a huge stretch to lead a 101-85 win over San Antonio Feb. 25. NBA.com reports he scored 12 straight points to turn a four-point game into a 52-38 halftime lead.
“Very encouraging,” coach Kenny Atkinson said. “I thought his drive game was good. He hit a big three I thought in the fourth quarter when we were struggling to get a bucket. D’Angelo (Russell) found him off a drive.
“Those two, I think they’re getting their chemistry back a little. D’Lo had most of the load before Caris came back, but I can see them starting to come together a little bit, but having them both have good games that’s key for us going forward.”
LeVert finished with 15 points, seven assists and five rebounds in 27 minutes. He’s averaging 16 points, four rebounds and four assists per game in 20 games (28.1 minutes), shooting 44.3 percent from the floor and 30.6 from long range. He posted back-to-back 12-point games last week in a win over Cleveland and a loss to Portland (Feb. 13 and 21).
In Miami, rookie Duncan Robinson notched his first career start and scored five points in 22 minutes in a loss to Phoenix, his eighth NBA game. IRobinson has averaged 20.7 points per game n 30 games with the Sioux Falls Skyforce, shooting 48 percent from long rang.e.
His progress has caught the eye of Heat coach Eric Spoelstra.
“He’s really developed now as a movement catch and shoot guy, not just a spot up (shooter),” coach Eric Spoelstra told the Miami Herald. “He came into our program as a spot up three-point shooter but he’s really now become dynamic on catch and shoots, running full speed, creating havoc, making people overreact. That’s a credit to his dedication.
“He puts in a lot of time. We felt like he’s a Miami Heat-type guy, and he’s also developed other parts of his game as well.”
He’s averaging 2.1 points and 1.1 rebounds in eight games.
How other former Wolverines have fared:
Trey Burke, PG, Dallas Mavericks: Traded Feb. 1 from New York … Has played in eight games since the trade for the 24-36 Mavs … Averaging 11. points, 2.7 assists and 1.9 rebounds in 19.7 minutes per game (41 total games between the two teams) … Shooting 41.7 percent from the floor and 35.6 percent from long range … Missed seven games starting Dec. 1 with a knee sprain … Scored 11 points in a loss to Denver Feb. 22 … He and former U-M teammate Tim Hardaway Jr. both eclipsed 20 in a Feb. 23 loss to Utah, Burke putting up 20 on 8-of-15 shooting.
Jamal Crawford, SF, Phoenix Suns: Averaging 6.4 points, 3.3 assists per game for 12-50 Phoenix, shooting 37.1 percent from the floor and 29.6 percent from long range in 17.6 minutes per game (51 games) … Scored 16 points in 21 minutes on 5-of-9 shooting in a Feb. 25 win at Miami.
Tim Hardaway Jr., SF, Dallas Mavericks: Traded from New York Feb. 1 … Averaging 18.7 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists, shooting 39.2 percent from the floor and 34.3 percent from three-point range in 54 total games this year… Scored 20 points on 7-of-16 shooting in a Feb. 25 loss at Los Angeles (Clippers) … Put up 21 in a loss at Utah Feb. 23.
Glenn Robinson III, SF, Detroit Pistons: Averaging 4.0 points and 1. 2 rebounds per game for the 29-30 Pistons … Has become a little used bench player in Detroit, averaging 13.3 minutes overall playing in 33 games but very few the last several weeks … Shooting 38.3 percent from the floor and 30.2 from long range.
Nik Stauskas, SG, Cleveland Cavaliers: Traded from Portland Feb. 3, cut and was re-signed … Averaging 5.8points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game for 14-47 Cleveland … Shooting 40.7 percent from the floor, 33.8 from three-point range … Has played 10 total minutes the last three games.
Moritz Wagner, PF, Los Angeles Lakers: Slowed by injury early and has played in 23 games so far with the 29-31 Lakers, spending time in the G-League … Averaging 3.3 points and 1.5 rebounds in 6.4 minutes per game.
D.J. Wilson, PF, Milwaukee Bucks: Averaging 5.6 points and 4.6 rebounds in 18.3 minutes per game (30 games) … Notched seven points and eight rebounds in a Feb. 25 win over Chicago for the 46-14 Bucks.
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