2. What will we see from newly extended Dinwiddie?
Since he became eligible for a lucrative contract extension on Saturday, Spencer Dinwiddie played like a man with something to prove, scoring 25 points in Saturday’s win against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden and following it up with a career-high 39 Wednesday in Philadelphia.
That moved the needle, as Dinwiddie and the Brooklyn Nets agreed to terms Thursday on a three-year, $34 million extension.
Dinwiddie has emerged as one of the NBA’s top reserves this season, averaging 17.3 points and 4.8 assists per game in 26 appearances off the bench. He’s also shooting at a career-best clip overall at 47.4 percent (up from 38.7 percent last season) and is at 36.8 percent from deep.
So what will Dinwiddie do for an encore now that he got the deal — at a nice hometown discount, it must be added, since he likely could have gotten more as an unrestricted free agent next summer — that he had been wanting?
Dinwiddie was very good in a Nov. 16 road win over the Washington Wizards, scoring 25 points on 8-of-13 shooting while knocking down 3-of-5 from long range to go with eight assists and three steals.
But as a starter in Brooklyn’s 102-88 loss at Washington on Dec. 1, Dinwiddie scuffled. He scored eight points — just the second time all season he’s finished a game in single-digits — and was 3-for-9 from the floor, missing all three of his 3-point tries. He did dish eight assists.
Dinwiddie could be pressed into a starting role again on Friday, with Allen Crabbe questionable with a sore right knee.
Dinwiddie wasn’t ultra-efficient this season as a starter in the three games he entered the first unit in place of Joe Harris a couple of weeks ago. He averaged 13.7 points, 2.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 31.0 minutes in losses to the Utah Jazz, Memphis Grizzlies and the Wizards.
He also did not shoot well, going 13-for-34 (38.2 percent) overall and making just 4-of-17 from 3-point range (23.5 percent).
But with the deal agreed to and the weight of uncertainty about the future lifted, Dinwiddie could be in line for a celebratory performance.