2. Dinwiddie carried the load, but needed help
Spencer Dinwiddie has been red-hot over his last four games and did everything he could to keep the Brooklyn Nets afloat in Wednesday’s loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, scoring 25 points in 27 minutes.
The super sub was aggressive to the basket, getting to the free throw line 10 times, and was 8-of-17 from the floor while knocking down 2-of-6 from 3-point range.
That continued a strong run from Dinwiddie over the last four games, during which he’s putting up 23.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists in just 28.2 minutes a night. He’s shooting 47.6 percent overall and 39.3 percent from deep on 7.0 attempts per game over that span, while also averaging 7.8 free throw attempts per game.
He’s still in the mix for the Sixth Man of the Year award and, along with D’Angelo Russell, should be a strong contender for Most Improved Player honors for a second consecutive season.
Dinwiddie is averaging 17.5 points, 4.9 assists and 2.5 rebounds in 28.2 minutes per game this season, hitting 46.1 percent overall, 36.1 percent on 5.4 3-point attempts a game and getting to the line 5.3 times a night and hitting at a 79 percent clip.
The problem for Dinwiddie on Wednesday is that he had precious little help. The Brooklyn reserves outscored the Thunder bench 45-22 in another strong showing, but the rest of the bench combined for 20 points on 8-of-19 shooting.
Caris LeVert’s struggles with his shooting rhythm continued, as he finished with eight points in 19 minutes while hitting only 3-of-10 overall. LeVert was a factor with six rebounds and four assists, but we may not see the offensive gifts on full display until he has a full offseason to get his timing back
The Brooklyn bench missed DeMarre Carroll badly on Wednesday. On a night when Rodions Kurucs struggled — going 3-for-9 overall with four turnovers — Jared Dudley contributed six points and a steal in his 18 minutes of reserve duty.
Carroll is averaging 11.1 points per game off the bench this season, but missed Wednesday’s game after hyperextending his left knee in Monday’s victory over the Detroit Pistons. The Nets felt the effects of not having both his shooting and his defense on Wednesday.