It was simply greater than a yr in the past — December, 7, 2016 — when Nets guard Caris LeVert made his NBA debut in a win over the Nuggets.
That participant, who logged 9 minutes and went zero-for-three from the sector, is way totally different from the participant who notched a staff-excessive sixteen factors and eight assists Tuesday night time in a 103-ninety eight victory over the Wizards.
The strides that LeVert — the No. 20 decide in 2016 and an necessary piece of Brooklyn’s rebuild — has made are notable, based on teammates and coach Kenny Atkinson.
“He’s come a great distance,” Atkinson stated. “I feel we had excessive expectations for him. We sort of knew proper off the bat he was going to be fairly good.
“I’m glad that the excessive expectations we had — it’s beginning to present. It’s beginning to come to mild that he’s a reasonably good participant.”
“It’s sort of superb to see,” Rondae Hollis-Jefferson stated of LeVert’s progress. “How shut I’m with him, his development, and seeing that entire transition.”
Hollis-Jefferson, a former Arizona Wildcats star who matched up with LeVert in school, isn’t utterly shocked by the progress, nevertheless. He might see the flashes again then.
“All of the stuff that he’s doing now, I noticed him do [at Michigan],” Hollis-Jefferson stated. “Coming off display-and-rolls, the herky-jerky, I used to be like, ‘Yo, he’s good!’ ”
The arrogance LeVert showcased in these days is starting to translate to the NBA, as he has come on robust after a sluggish begin to the season. With Jeremy Lin and D’Angelo Russell sidelined, the 6-foot-7 wing has taken over some backup level-guard duties and is averaging sixteen.5 factors and seven.three assists on fifty two % capturing from the sector and forty two % from three over his final 4 outings (three of which have been wins).
“He’s type of commanding that second unit proper now,” Atkinson stated — a second unit that ranks second within the league in factors per contest (forty four.7).
In his first eighty video games, LeVert by no means recorded greater than seven assists. He has achieved that feat in two of the previous three video games, displaying nice confidence as a main ball-handler. The 23-yr-previous has been put in much more decide-and-rolls (36 % frequency) than in his rookie marketing campaign (20 % frequency), per NBA.com.
Nets basic supervisor Sean Marks was apparently insistent from the start that LeVert might run the purpose successfully, relaying the message to Atkinson. LeVert stated he…