1. An elite battle at shooting guard (no, really!)
It’s a terrific story line: Former college teammates playing for two teams in one city, each off to monster starts.
But that was before LeVert blasted out of the gate by averaging 21.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.5 assists in 31.2 minutes per game for the Nets, shooting .516/.360/.852 in his first six games.
Hardaway has been productive as well, putting up 24.3 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.0 steals in 32.3 minutes a night, while shooting .418/.370/.889 in New York’s first six contests.
When Hardaway was a junior starter at the University of Michigan in 2012-13, LeVert was a freshman reserve.
But LeVert won Round 1 of this season’s matchup, beating Hardaway off the dribble for a game-winner with one second left in the Nets’ home opener.
LeVert set a career-high in the win over the Knicks, scoring 28 points on 8-of-13 shooting while making 2-of-5 from deep and living at the foul line, making 10-of-11. He also contributed six rebounds and five assists.
Hardaway has scored at least 24 points in five of New York’s six games this season, including 29 in the loss at Brooklyn. But he’s doing it with high volume. His 29 points against the Nets came on 25 shots and he is hoisting an average of 20.3 attempts a game.
Get your popcorn ready for Round 2 in the Battle of New York’s sub-battle between former Wolverines.