The Brooklyn Nets started the season with a winning record. And they did that AFTER losing Jeremy Lin. Six games into the season and the Nets might be…good? That is taking it a little too far but they definitely play hard, fast, and are enjoyable to watch. The Brooklyn Nets have become one of the most fun teams to watch in the NBA. Every night they feel like a bunch of scrappy no-names coming together to defy the odds. After defeating the Cavaliers 112-107 most of the NBA world took notice of just how hard and fast the Nets play. Not only did the team make a statement but so did Spencer Dinwiddie. Playing for a season-high 32 minutes Spencer Dinwiddie had a career-high 22 points and the go-ahead three to beat the Cavs.
This will be Spencer Dinwiddie’s third team in four seasons. Last year Brooklyn released Yogi Ferrell to sign Dinwiddie to a 10-day contract. The 6’6’’ guard out of Colorado has had a difficult winding road on the way to realizing his dream of playing in the NBA. Dinwiddie had a stint in Detroit where he was assigned to the G-league and called back five times and another stint in Chicago where he didn’t even get to the end of the preseason with the team. The Nets signed him to a three-year deal this year and it seems that Dinwiddie has finally found a place in the association to call home.
Right now Dinwiddie’s larger than life personality on Twitter and his philanthropic endeavors have made him one of the best young guys to follow in the NBA. His growth as a man, member of the Brooklyn/New York community, and basketball player are all intriguing and exciting parts of having Dinwiddie on the team.
The 24-year-old has great size and athleticism for his position. Although he mainly plays the point, he’s capable of slotting into several positions both offensively and defensively. Now that Jeremy Lin is gone, Dinwiddie will be expected to be the team’s primary ball-handler behind D’Angelo Russell. Dinwiddie is currently leading the team in assists with 5.8 per game. His ball handling, court vision, and unselfishness make him the perfect complement to Kenny Atkinson’s fast pace, quick shot, run and gun style of offense. The beginning of this season has been Dinwiddie’s coming out parade but his efficiency, which has always been a problem, continues to be an area he can improve. In Dinwiddie’s first two seasons he shot 30% and then 35% from the field. Although this was in only 46 games, it makes it clear why the team felt the need to send him back and forth to developmental leagues. In his 59 games with the Nets last year he shot a respectable 44% from the field and has opened this season just hovering around 40.
This seasons per 36 totals for Dinwiddie come out to 16.7 points, 7.9 assists, and 5.9 rebounds. Dinwiddie should see around 24-30 minutes a game for the rest of the season, barring any more injuries, and will definitely surpass his career totals of 6.2 points, 3.0 assists, and 2.2 rebounds a game. In extended playing time last year he got the chance to show that he belongs in the NBA. This year, Dinwiddie will have the chance to prove just where stands amongst guards in the NBA. He isn’t afraid to speak his mind and suggested that he believes he might be the best player in the NBA. While that is a bit much, there’s no doubt that with his confidence and a real chance he will show everyone that he’s capable of doing a lot more than just surviving in this league.
None of Dinwiddie’s stats are so eye-popping that he deserves to be mentioned as anything other than an improving player. But his hunger to do well and the fact that he will be given an extended opportunity make him an exciting prospect to watch. The Nets knew what they were getting with Jeremy Lin and were excited to see what Russell could potentially blossom into from the guard position. Dinwiddie has emerged as a third guard to be excited about. On teams like the Nets it is hard to differentiate the future important pieces moving forward or just those bodies who happen to be getting NBA minutes because you have to put someone out there. As of now, Dinwiddie is turning his career into one that makes it necessary for teams to want to keep him around.