Option 1: The obvious choice
Spencer Dinwiddie is coming off a breakout season — just don’t tell him that — and has been even better so far this season.
The fifth-year guard is averaging 13.9 points, 2.4 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 27.1 minutes per game off the bench for the Brooklyn Nets this season, with his shooting markedly better as well at .473/.394/.818.
He’s a point guard by nature, but has played off the ball opposite both D’Angelo Russell and Shabazz Napier in spots this season.
One argument in favor of starting Dinwiddie is that he is nearly LeVert’s equal in creating opportunities out of isolation, something the Nets could need in end-game situations.
However, Dinwiddie has been finishing games often this season — he had the overtime game-winner against Detroit on Halloween night.
In 13 games in which Dinwiddie, LeVert and Russell were on the floor together, the group played to a minus-26.5 points per 100 possessions. Not great, Bob.
Dinwiddie and Russell, meanwhile, have played 103 minutes together this season and the duo is at a net of minus-22.2 points per 100 possessions. Not ideal for a starting guard tandem.
But even more compelling against starting Dinwiddie is that the second unit loses a lot of scoring punch without him and that has been something Brooklyn has relied upon this season.
Ideally, whoever replaces LeVert in the starting unit should be able to allow the Nets to compensate for LeVert’s lost production as a group without gutting the ability of the reserve combinations to score.
That’s why Dinwiddie may be the most obvious choice, but also the wrong one.