If you’ve been following the career of Caris LeVert, you know that his latest setback is only going to make him stronger.
On Monday (US time), the Brooklyn Nets’ swingman suffered a gruesome leg injury just before halftime of their game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Judging on how his ankle turned the wrong way, people feared that this would sideline him for the rest of the season.
To everyone’s surprise, tests revealed that LeVert suffered a dislocated foot but no fractures. “LeVert doesn’t require surgery on his dislocated right foot and is expected to return to play this season”, the team announced on Tuesday.
LeVert was already battling adversity even before playing in the NBA as he was lightly recruited out of high school and endured three foot surgeries during his college stint with Michigan. Although he had solid numbers in his junior and senior year, NBA scouts were understandably skeptical as he only played in 33 games combined over his past two college seasons.
Fortunately, the Brooklyn Nets took a chance on LeVert as he was selected 20th overall in the 2016 NBA Draft. General manager Sean Marks was reportedly impressed with the injury-riddled guard as he showed great poise and character during their interview.
The Brooklyn Nets guard was sidelined at the start of the 2016-17 season and it would take 21 games before he made his NBA debut in December 2016 against the Denver Nuggets. He played 57 games in his rookie year and posted modest averages of 8.2 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.9 assists.
LeVert would show glimpses of his offensive versatility during his sophomore season. He was a steady producer off the bench with 12.1 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 4.2 assists and managed to play 71 games during the regular season.
Before the start of the 2017-18 season, LeVert was projected to come off the bench again but was reportedly outstanding during training camp. He would eventually earn the starting job on opening night and made the most of his opportunity.
LeVert would set the tone for his breakout season as he started out aggressively in their first game against the Detroit Pistons. He was relentless in attacking the basket as he weaved his way through the Pistons defense and finished with 27 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists.
The third-year guard out of Michigan would then follow that up with a signature performance against their cross-town rivals, the New York Knicks. With time winding down to the last seconds and the score tied at 105 apiece, LeVert got past Tim Hardaway, Jr and hit a tough basket over two defenders to give the Nets their first win.
In their 12th game of the season against the surging Denver Nuggets, LeVert would convert on another game-winner. On their last offensive possession, he crossed over Gary Harris and made a difficult floater over Paul Millsap as the Nets emerged victorious on the road.
LeVert was having a remarkable season with averages of 18.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.2 steals in 29.7 minutes through 14 games and was in the conversation as one of the early candidates for the Most Improved Player award before the unfortunate injury. While he is out indefinitely, expect the former Wolverine to pick up from where he left off and be better than ever when he comes back from his injury.
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