So how does a nine-point effort from your current scoring leader warrant an above-average grade? Because D’Angelo Russell did something he hasn’t done a lot for the Brooklyn Nets when he isn’t shooting well — find other ways to help the club win.
Russell had a season-high 11 assists to just two turnovers — one of which was awful, to be honest, a lob to Jarrett Allen that had absolutely no chance of clearing the 11-foot-3 wing span of Mitchell Robinson — and was solid defensively against Emmanuel Mudiay.
It was, dare I say, a mature performance from the much-maligned 22-year-old point guard.
It was a big Extension Day for Spencer Dinwiddie, who abused the Knicks off the bounce even as he fell into his frustrating tendency to fall a little too much in love with the basketball in isolation.
Dinwiddie scored 25 points and was very effective at getting to the rack, but stalled the offense out at times during the stretch in the fourth quarter with some bad decisions in iso sets.
In a league where individual defensive metrics are unreliable at best, it’s worth noting that Dinwiddie’s Defensive Real Plus-Minus, per ESPN.com, is minus-3.02 this season, 442nd among 447 NBA players measured, but with an Offensive RPM of plus-2.85, he’s added 1.27 wins to the Nets in 2018-19. That ranks 105th in the NBA.
Last season, his DRPM was minus-0.21. Per the eye test, his defense has been much more sound this season. So the bottom line, individual defensive metrics are … not quite there yet.