Caris LeVert’s return for the Brooklyn Nets is off to a promising start even if the dynamic wing hasn’t quite found his rhythm yet.
The Brooklyn Nets were in dire straits when Caris LeVert was sidelined with a gruesome injury earlier in the season. They were losing their best player and there was little hope that he would be back this season, let alone before the All-Star break.
But LeVert’s injury was not nearly as bad as originally feared and now he’s slowly working his way back into the regular rotation. He’s still feeling out the game and he’s not completely comfortable on the court.
“It just comes with it. I’ve got to watch film and just play. I made some mistakes and Kenny still left me in,” LeVert told Brian Lewis of the New York Post. “I appreciate him for that. That was big getting my feel back, getting my rhythm back. … I’m going to learn from it.”
LeVert hasn’t looked like himself, but he doesn’t look far off from returning to his pre-injury form. He has a bounce in his step and is regularly beating his man off the dribble. Unfortunately, his touch is off and he’s not finishing his looks at the rim like he’s capable of.
The third-year guard is surprised he’s not playing better, but he is confident that time on the court will lead to better things.
“Honestly I’m surprised I’m not [sharper],” LeVert told Lewis. “If anything, I’m surprised I’m not further along because we put in a lot of work. I know it’ll come; I’m a competitor.
“For sure. You can’t really mimic game speed and game physicality and things like that,” LeVert said. “That was the only thing in the rehab that we didn’t do. We played against the G-League a couple times, but you can’t really mimic game pace and things like that. But I know those things will come.”
Head coach Kenny Atkinson is encouraged by what he’s seen from LeVert and he’s excited for what’s to come.
“I love that he’s attacking. I haven’t seen any fearful movements, any fearful [plays]. His forays to the basket, he’s going hard. It’s just the touch isn’t there,” Atkinson said. “I told him it’s just rust. That’ll come off because he’s a really good finisher.”
It’s clear that LeVert’s touch and feel are off just a bit. That’s something that is easily fixable with more time on the court. The better news for Nets fans is that LeVert doesn’t look like he’s lost a step athletically.
In two games since returning, LeVert is averaging 8.5 points, 4.0 assists, and 3.0 steals in 18.8 minutes per game.