It was just more than a year ago — December, 7, 2016 — when Nets guard Caris LeVert made his NBA debut in a win over the Nuggets. That player, who logged nine minutes and went 0-for-3 from the field, is far different from the player who notched a team-high 16 points and eight assists Tuesday night in a 103-98 victory over the Wizards. The strides that LeVert — the No. 20 pick in 2016 and an important piece of Brooklyn’s rebuild — has made are notable, according to teammates and coach Kenny Atkinson. “He’s come a long way,” Atkinson said. “I think we had high expectations for him. We kind of knew right off the bat he was going to be pretty good. “I’m glad that the high expectations we had — it’s starting to show. It’s starting to come to light that he’s a pretty good player.” “It’s kind of amazing to see,” Rondae Hollis-Jefferson said of LeVert’s growth. “How close I am with him, his progression, and seeing that whole transition.” Hollis-Jefferson, a former Arizona Wildcats star who matched up with LeVert in college, isn’t completely shocked by the progress, however. He could see the flashes back then. “All the stuff that he’s doing now, I saw him do [at Michigan],” Hollis-Jefferson said. “Coming off screen-and-rolls, the herky-jerky, I was like, ‘Yo, he’s good!’ ” The confidence LeVert showcased in those days is beginning to translate to the NBA, as he has come on strong after a sluggish start to the season. With Jeremy Lin and D’Angelo Russell sidelined, the 6-foot-7 wing has taken over some backup point-guard duties and is averaging 16.5 points and 7.3 assists on 52 percent shooting from the field and 42 percent from 3 over his last four outings (three of which were wins).