If Shabazz Napier were diagnosed with whiplash from the rapid turnaround from out of the rotation to playing 27 minutes a game, it wouldn’t be a complete shock.
Napier disappeared from the rotation for nearly three weeks before getting 11 minutes in the Brooklyn Nets’ 100-87 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Dec. 28.
In four games since, Napier is averaging 18.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists in 26.9 minutes per game, shooting 46.7 percent overall and 41.7 percent from deep.
Credit Napier for staying ready and answering the call when he got it.
Napier scored 12 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter Sunday as the Nets pulled away from the Bulls to lock down the win.
He also teamed well with fellow point guards D’Angelo Russell and Spencer Dinwiddie for a couple of stretches — Brooklyn was a plus-4 in nearly seven minutes with that trio on the floor.
Defensively, he’s dogged but can have problems with size — he’s 6-foot-1 and big guards are going to have an advantage, it’s just the way it is — but his offensive game has come together well, even though he will likely always be prone to the occasional heat check.
Spencer Dinwiddie did a little of everything Sunday, including spending some time at the 3, and did a good job of taking what was there and not forcing things when they weren’t.
Dinwiddie played more of a facilitating role against the Chicago Bulls, who were aggressively attacking ball screens with double teams rather than switches.
He did a good job of getting the ball out of his hands against those blitzes and finding open shooters against the double teaming.
When his opportunities were there, he took them, blowing past Lauri Markkanen a couple of times for chances at the rim when Chicago did switch.
It wasn’t one of Dinwiddie’s more spectacular games, but he played the right way and made the right decisions.