Caris LeVert missed his fourth straight game against Indiana Wednesday night at Barclays Center since suffering a concussion and sprained knee in a Feb. 6 collision with Nene of the Houston Rockets. The concussion symptoms have cleared up, but LeVert still is rehabbing a sprained knee suffered on the same play and offered no timetable for his return when he spoke with a group of reporters after shootaround Wednesday morning.
“I feel a lot better — still rehabbing, trying to get back to 100 percent,” LeVert said.
Coach Kenny Atkinson admitted the loss of LeVert and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, who missed his 10th straight game with a right groin strain, has hurt the Nets’ defense and rebounding. “Rondae is an excellent rebounder; Caris has the best rebounding numbers of his short career, so we’re missing him,” Atkinson said. “But we have to do that by committee and we have to do a better job collectively there.”
Both players are hoping to return when the Nets’ schedule resumes after the All-Star break with a game Feb. 22 in Charlotte, but there are no guarantees. “Absolutely, we hope to bring as much as we can to the table,” LeVert said of himself and Hollis-Jefferson. “We don’t like missing games, and we can’t wait to get back out there and contribute to the team in whatever way we can.”
Despite losing six straight and 10 of 11 before facing the Pacers, Atkinson stuck with the same starting lineup, but he said he might consider changes over the All-Star break. “It could be something we look at,” Atkinson said. “We’re trying to figure it out with guys in and out. We’re trying the best we can to find the right lineups that work out there. We’ve gone small a ton, we’ve tried bigger lineups. We’re still searching. When you’re in a losing streak like this, you’re trying to find that magic formula, but we haven’t found it lately.”