The NBA All-Star break is upon us with two former Michigan Wolverines are competing in the festivities. With several players reeling, it will be nice for those in pros to reset and recharge. Here’s how each of them performed this week:
Note: All stats are as of Feb. 14.
Tim Hardaway Jr., Dallas Mavericks
Hardaway pieced together back-to-back solid performances on Wednesday and Friday in Los Angeles and Sacramento, respectively. He scored 19 with five rebounds and six assists on Wednesday and then tallied 15 points with seven rebounds and five assists Friday.
Unfortunately, in the second night of a back-to-back with the Kings, he left the game early with a hamstring injury. He then went on to miss the next two contests because of it. With the Mavericks entering the All-Star break, hopefully Hardaway can recover in time for the second half.
Jordan Poole, Golden State Warriors
Steph Curry’s absence has continued. So too has Poole’s scoring explosion. On Wednesday in Portland, Poole dropped 38 points on 25 shots while also chipping in seven assists. He backed that up with 28+ performances in two of Golden State’s next three games. In addition, he’s been significantly more efficient from the floor, shooting over 36% in all four games this week.
Moritz Wagner, Orlando Magic
Wagner has quietly been playing well of late, despite limited minutes. He is the clear backup to Wendell Carter at this point, but he’s been scoring in double digits more often than not recently. With Mo Bamba traded to the Lakers and Wagner clearly outplaying Bol Bol, there are minutes for the taking in the Orlando front court. However, his rebounding numbers have been down so he’ll need to regain his aggressiveness from the beginning of the season.
Franz Wagner, Orlando Magic
Franz struggled slightly this week. Notably, he scored just nine points without a single rebound in Toronto on Tuesday. His scoring totals have decreased throughout the past few weeks. He will look to use the All-Star break to refocus.
Wagner will be participating in the Jordan Rising Stars Challenge. This event can be seen on TNT at 9 p.m. on Friday.
Caris LeVert, Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland has been scorching hot, winning five straight prior to their close loss in Philadelphia last night. LeVert has chipped in to help kickstart the winning streak. Coming off the bench, he hasn’t been much of a scoring threat (5.8 ppg in four games this week) but has been dishing out assists at a higher than normal clip (5.3 apg this week). LeVert will likely continue to come off the bench for the foreseeable future, though he’s become accustomed to that role.
Isaiah Livers, Detroit Pistons
Livers was one of the many winners of the trade deadline. With Saddiq Bey off to Atlanta via Golden State, Livers looks primed to step into Bey’s role. In his first game post-trade deadline, Livers notched his first double-double of the season (and second of his career) by tallying 11 points and 10 rebounds in 40 minutes of action. Unfortunately, he followed that up with a clunker as he scored just two points in 27 minutes in Toronto on Sunday.
Caleb Houstan, Orlando Magic
Houstan saw 12+ minutes in all three of Orlando’s contests this week. He scored seven points on Thursday followed by five each on Monday and Tuesday. While certainly not bursting onto the scene by any means, he has now made multiple buckets in four consecutive games. Could he be gaining some momentum?
Moussa Diabate, Los Angeles Clippers
With the Clippers trading essentially their entire roster, Diabate remained with the NBA club. He saw garbage time action in all three Clippers’ contests this week but barely recorded a stat. I fully expect to see him back in Ontario once Los Angeles figures out their roster and rotation.
Duncan Robinson, Miami Heat
Robinson remained out this week due to finger surgery.
BONUS: Zavier Simpson, Lakeland Magic
Zavier Simpson has played the last few years for Orlando’s G-League affiliate, the Lakeland Magic. In fact, this year he’s also teammates with D.J. Wilson. Simpson was selected to the NBA G-League Next Up Game and will be on Team Luka.
Simpson has started every game for Lakeland and is averaging 15.9 ppg, 8.9 apg and 3.0 rpg. He also is shooting an astounding 51% from three this season, even though he only shoots 2.7 three pointers per game. If you remember much from Simpson’s time in Ann Arbor, 51% from three is a minor miracle.
The Next Up Game will take place on Sunday at 3 p.m. and will be broadcast on NBA TV.