Spencer Dinwiddie needs to step up in D’Angelo Russell’s absence

D’Angelo Russell suffered a left knee injury in Saturday night’s loss to the Jazz. Now, Spencer Dinwiddie has a chance to show that he could start.

Gone are the Brooklyn Nets’ top two guards. While Jeremy Lin is out for the season, D’Angelo Russell is out for several games with a left knee injury. Now it is up to Spencer Dinwiddie to fill the role that Russell had.

Although Dinwiddie was out with a hamstring injury for Saturday night’s contest against the Trail Blazers, he could play on Tuesday against the Boston Celtics.

The fourth year guard from Colorado is averaging 9.8 points and 4.9 assists per game, the highest of his career. His per 36 minutes are up there as well, with 15.8 points and 8 assists.

So, the ability is there. While Dinwiddie is not the most touted player, he is a good backup. Now, he has to prove that he can be a successful starter.

His skill set meshes well with the rest of the starting lineup. Dinwiddie is currently shooting 45 percent from beyond the arc. That is good for highest on the team for players who have played more than five games.

Dinwiddie’s three-point shooting paired with Allen Crabbe’s can be a deadly combination. Throw in better spacing for the Nets’ bigs and you have a diverse lineup.

But, there are a lot of concerns. Primarily, Dinwiddie is going to be a game time decision. Although hamstring tightness is a common minor injury, the Nets’ trainers could have him sit out of precaution.

Also, Dinwiddie struggles mightily on defense. He is tied for the worst defensive rating on the team for players that played more than a single game.

However, there are some positives as well. Head coach Kenny Atkinson already gives him 22.3 minutes per game. Giving Dinwiddie five more minutes per to replace Russell would not really affect his play.


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