Wolverines In The NBA: Caris LeVert Impressing As Playoffs Begin
Former Michigan Wolverines basketball star and current Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert has impressed since the league's Orlando restart. In the final regular-season contest of the entire season, LeVert went head-to-head with one of the league's best and hottest players, Damien Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Trail Blazers were desperate, needing a win to get themselves into the 8-9 play-in game. They did just that, but LeVert shined on the big stage as well, scoring 37 points while adding nine assists and six rebounds in a 134-133 loss.
Following his six appearances in the Orlando Bubble in which he carried the bulk of the offensive workload for the short-handed Nets — averaging 25 points and 6.7 assists per game, — LeVert was named to the NBA's All-Seeding second-team.
He also received praise from some big names around the NBA.
Caris Levert, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving will be an ELITE Big 3 next year...Levert is a damn Bucket!!!— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) August 14, 2020
Caris Levert is a young monster!!!— DWade (@DwyaneWade) August 14, 2020
Miami Heat forward Duncan Robinson is putting together one of the best seasons by a shooter in league history. The list of players to shoot at least 44 percent from long range while averaging more than eight three-point attempts is a short one, but Robinson found a way to make it. Steph Curry is the only player ahead of Robinson in that regard, with his 2015 and 2016 MVP seasons being just a rung above Robinson's 2019-20 regular season.
The complete list of NBA players who shot at least 44% on 8+ 3s per game in a season:— Ben Cohen (@bzcohen) August 17, 2020
1. Stephen Curry, 2015 (MVP)
2. Stephen Curry, 2016 (MVP)
3. Duncan Robinson, 2020
Seven of the eight Wolverines in Orlando managed to make the postseason, with Washington Wizards forward Moe Wagner being the only one to not reach the playoffs. His team finished on the outside looking in at ninth in the Eastern Conference.
Below is an update on all eight former Michigan players who participated in the NBA's Orlando restart.
Trey Burke, Dallas Mavericks
Burke is averaging 7.4 points, 2.5 assists and 1.5 rebounds in 33 games for the season season with the Philadelphia 76ers and now for the Dallas Mavericks.
He's found new life after the NBA's restart to the season with his new club, averaging 12.0 points, 3.8 assists and 1.9 rebounds per outing in eight games.
The Mavericks are the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference, and will take on the second-seeded Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the playoffs. Action tips off for the Mavs Monday night at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Jamal Crawford, Brooklyn Nets
The oldest player in the NBA at 40 years old, Crawford was nabbed by the short-handed Nets ahead of the league's restart. Crawford has only made one appearance thus far, with his five points and three assists in a win over the Bucks Aug. 4 being his only night of action. In that game, he suffered a left hamstring injury that has held him out ever since.
Crawford has been ruled out of game one between the Nets and the Toronto Raptors.
Tim Hardaway Jr., Dallas Mavericks
Hardaway has started in 58 of his 71 appearances this season, and averages 15.8 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game. He is the club's third-leading scorer, and is shooting 39.8 percent from three-point range.
Hardaway scored 20 or more points in four of the eight games since the league's restart, highlighted by a 27-point performance in an Aug. 10 victory over the Utah Jazz in which he shot 3-for-6 from long range.
Caris LeVert, Brooklyn Nets
LeVert is averaging 18.7 points, 4.4 assists and 4.2 rebounds per contest in his 45 games played this season. He missed two games last week due to a thigh contusion, but is back healthy and in the Nets' starting lineup.
Since the Orlando restart, LeVert is averaging 25 points per game. In the final regular-season game of the NBA season, he went off for 37 points, nine assists, six rebounds and two steals in a 134-133 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.
LeVert was named to the NBA's All-Seeding Game second-team for his stellar play over the last two and a half weeks.
The seventh-seeded Nets take on the second-seeded Raptors, with game one being Monday at 4 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Duncan Robinson, Miami Heat
In 73 games played with 68 starts this season, Robinson is averaging 13.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game, while shooting 47.0 percent from the field and 44.6 percent from long range. He leads the Heat and is fourth in the league in three-point shooting percentage.
The No. 5 seed Heat play the No. 4 seed Indiana Pacers in the first round of the playoffs. Tip-off in game one set for Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET on TNT.
Glenn Robinson III, Philadelphia 76ers
Robinson III is averaging 11.7 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 62 outings this season for the Golden State Warriors and now with the 76ers.
His 76ers at the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference and will take on their arch rival, the Boston Celtics. The first game of the series is Monday at 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Moe Wagner, Washington Wizards
Wagner averaged 8.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.3 assists per contest this season in 45 games.
The Wizards finished at ninth in the Eastern Conference standings, and did not make the playoffs after winning just one of eight games in the bubble.
D.J. Wilson, Milwaukee Bucks
Wilson is averaging 3.6 points and 2.5 rebounds per game in 37 appearances on the season.
The Bucks hold the best record in the NBA at 56-16, are the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs and will play the eighth-seeded Orlando Magic, with game one being Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. ET on TNT.
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