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Michigan NBA Update: New York Knicks duo getting back on track

Tim Hardaway, Jr. and Trey Burke are finding their strides again after minor injuries.

NBA: New York Knicks at Brooklyn Nets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

January has been a rough month for guards Tim Hardaway Jr. and Trey Burke in New York.

The former Wolverines have missed a combined six games so far in 2019. Burke has dealt with a knee sprain, and more recently, an illness. Hardaway, on the other hand, has nursed a sore left hamstring.

They both got back on track this past week, reaching double figures in each of their appearances. Burke poured in 25 points Friday against the Nets, his highest total since scoring 29 on Nov. 21 versus the Celtics.

He filled up the stat sheet in New York’s 109-99 loss to Brooklyn. He shot 10-of-19 (including 2-of-4 on threes), dished out five assists, recorded two steals and blocked a shot.

Late Sunday in another loss to the Miami Heat, he chipped in 16 points (7-of-16 from the field) and distributed two more dimes.

By averaging 11.6 points a night for the struggling Knicks, he has become a potential trade commodity. The Lakers, Warriors and Nets have all reached out, desiring stability at the point guard spot.

Meanwhile, Hardaway notched a trio of 20-point plus outings. He only required 14 shots to reach 23 points Monday in a loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Two nights later in a close defeat to Houston, he tallied 21 points on the back of 4-for-8 shooting from deep.

Against the Heat, he faced a childhood hero in Dwayne Wade. The two exchanged No. 3 jerseys after the game, but not before Hardaway put on a show.

He featured heavily in the box score, racking up 22 points (on 16 shots), six boards and five assists.

The Knicks may be in the midst of a nine-game losing streak, but the Michigan contingent did its part this past week.

Brooklyn Nets star guard Caris LeVert is reportedly “still targeting” a return to the court in February.

Back in early November, the former Wolverine suffered a potential season-ending ankle injury against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Since then, LeVert has rehabbed successfully with no major setbacks. Brooklyn looks to work him back into the rotation at some point after the All-Star break.

Brooklyn is currently sixth in the Eastern Conference. The addition of LeVert’s 18.4 points and 3.7 assists per game could push the Nets into a higher playoff seed.

Other Notes

  • Milwaukee forward D.J. Wilson has cooled off from the field, but has contributed in other ways for the Eastern Conference-leading Bucks. He chipped in seven rebounds and an assist per contest in three games last week.
  • Phoenix reserve guard Jamal Crawford only scored 14 points in four games last week, but he made his mark facilitating his teammates. He dished 17 assists (4.2 a night), including five in Friday’s blowout loss to Denver.

It also marked the 12-year anniversary of his 52-point outburst with the Knicks against the defending NBA champion Heat.

  • Laker center Moe Wagner saw 12 minutes in a 130-111 defeat to Golden State. He mustered five points (2-of-5) and three boards.
  • Utah Jazz center Ekpe Udoh pitched in four points, three rebounds, an assist and a block in a 114-108 victory over Denver on Wednesday.