When Jeremy Lin went down in a heap in the team’s home opener against the Orlando Magic, many thought the Nets would take a significant step back. Without their veteran point guard and locker room leader, the team has managed to not only get by, but compete.
Things could be a lot worse for the Brooklyn Nets. Losing Jeremy Lin stings. There is no other way to put it. But in losing Lin, the team has discovered that it has another starting caliber point guard on the roster: Spencer Dinwiddie.
In Lin’s absence, Dinwiddie has had several noteworthy performances. In the Nets’ signature win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, Dinwiddie was the hero. Playing without both Lin and D’Angelo Russell, who was nursing a knee ailment, Dinwiddie went off. His play, which included late game heroics, helped solidify the victory for the Nets.
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The defining moment of this young season so far for Brooklyn was undoubtedly Dinwiddie’s late-game long distance 3-pointer, which ultimately proved to be the dagger in the team’s shocking upset of the defending Eastern Conference champs.
That was the defining moment for Dinwiddie in a night full of them. He stuffed the stat sheet with 22 points, six assists and five rebounds.
Even when Dinwiddie doesn’t score, he has proven to be adept at running the team’s second unit. In 22 minutes last night, Dinwiddie dished out 11 assists. Though his team lost and he went scoreless, performances like that show the Nets have unearthed a gem.
Dinwiddie is more than just a D-League to rotation player story. He is a legitimate building block for the Brooklyn Nets during this rebuild. If the team makes the playoffs this season, Dinwiddie will most likely be a very key reason why.
If they don’t, the team can breathe a sigh of relief knowing it has Dinwiddie under contract for another year at a shade above $1 million.
With Lin gone, it seems like all hope would be lost. With Dinwiddie providing efforts like he has, Nets fans should be happy the team has someone who can step up in Lin’s absence.