Spencer Dinwiddie needs to take the big shots for the Nets

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: Spencer Dinwiddie
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: Spencer Dinwiddie /

At the end of overtime in Monday night’s game, Spencer Dinwiddie had a chance to give the Brooklyn Nets the lead. With four seconds on the clock, Allen Crabbe kicked the ball to Dinwiddie at the top of three-point arc. He drove and tossed the ball over the backboard.

Spencer Dinwiddie had an open shot. With four seconds left, and Fred VanFleet a good five feet away, Dinwiddie had an open, yet distant three. In most cases, driving to the hoop would be a better option. But, it is not when there are three defenders lurking near the hoop, especially with one of them being Serge Ibaka.

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In this case, playing hero and shooting from beyond three-point range would have actually been smarter. He received the ball of an assist from Crabbe. If you take a look at his numbers, Dinwiddie converts on 56.3 percent of three-pointers coming off of assists. He also connects on 37 percent of his threes from the top of the arc. In a vacuum, the shot had more than a 50 percent shot of landing and winning the game.

However, basketball is not played in a vacuum and there are a ton of factors to add up. Dinwiddie looked like he was about 28-30 feet away from the basket. At that distance, Dinwiddie actually makes threes at a more efficient rate than when he is closer to the bucket. From 25-29 feet, Dinwiddie coverts on 36.1 percent of his shots, compared to shots taken from 20-24 feet, where he makes 31.7 percent.

The numbers support Dinwiddie’s case, but what about his role? At this point, Dinwiddie is a leader. After all, he has taken a starting role that was forced onto him and flourished in it. He might not have a reputation for being the most clutch player in the league, but a leader needs to dictate the end of a game.

So, what’s stopping him from taking that hero shot? Perhaps it’s confidence. His three-point percentage falls from 30.8 percent to 22.2 from when the Nets are either up or down 5 points with three minutes left to play to one. Granted, it is an extremely small sample size with 13 attempts and 9 attempts respectively.

Either way, Dinwiddie needs to be the man. If it means throwing up a bomb from long-range, then so be it.