Reports of Jared Dudley‘s demise were greatly exaggerated, as it turns out. The topic of speculation after Monday’s loss to the New York Knicks, Dudley was not removed from the starting lineup and instead played a big role in the Brooklyn Nets getting the win Wednesday.
He did not shoot well — 2-for-9 and 1-for-6 from long-range — but the one 3-pointer he did stripe was a huge one, a corner 3 in overtime that tied the game at 117-117 after the Nets had fallen behind.
He rebounded fairly well and played big defensively, particularly in the overtime period. After Jarrett Allen fouled out late in regulation, coach Kenny Atkinson rolled the dice with a really, really small-ball lineup that included Dudley at the 5 against behemoth Andre Drummond.
In that five-minute stretch, Dudley did not allow Drummond — who had 10 offensive rebounds on the night — onto the offensive window, did not allow Drummond to get off a shot and surrendered three rebounds on the defensive end.
He also bothered Blake Griffin in ways he did not when they collided on opening night. With Dudley as the primary defender Wednesday through the first three quarters, a visibly frustrated Griffin was just 3-for-10 and had 12 points.
Nets Twitter has been particularly critical of Dudley this season, but the old pro came up with a huge performance in the “little things” category.
The only reason Spencer Dinwiddie gets a knock at all is that the second unit for the Nets got very disjointed in the first half with Dinwiddie running the show.
But, man, did he atone for that in the fourth quarter. Dinwiddie scored 14 of his 25 points in the period and 22 of his 25 after halftime.
Dinwiddie lured Ish Smith into a pair of fouls as Dinwiddie was attempting 3-pointers, converting one into a four-point play and making all three foul shots on the other.
With 21 seconds left in regulation, Dinwiddie buried a deep 3 to tie the game. With 7.1 seconds remaining in overtime, he knocked down a 3 from the wing over Andre Drummond to give Brooklyn the lead.
And on Detroit’s final possession, Dinwiddie met Blake Griffin head on after a switch and forced the bigger former All-Star into a tough, 19-foot fadeaway turnaround jumper that had no shot of going in.
So it’s safe to assume Dinwiddie is still pretty salty about the Pistons trading him for a guy they would cut 20 days after the deal.