DALLAS — Spencer Dinwiddie’s second-half stoop final season wasn’t about him being damage, however about his emotions. The Nets guard chafed at coming off the bench after D’Angelo Russell’s return to the lineup, and it damage his play.
“Little question about it,” coach Kenny Atkinson stated, earlier than the Nets’ 119-113 loss to the Mavericks. “I feel that was one of many frustrations popping out of final season. Why did Spencer form of dip? Perhaps it was half my fault for not defining his function higher. However once more, this 12 months, it’s been a complete 180. He’s switched his mindset, he’s accepted the function, and he’s performed nice.”
Dinwiddie has performed so nicely this season coming off the bench Dallas coach Rick Carlisle dubbed him a Sixth Man of the 12 months candidate, and it’s not a stretch after Dinwiddie’s 19 factors and 7 assists off the bench towards the Mavs.
After Wednesday, Dinwiddie is averaging 14.9 factors and 4.eight assists. However the Nets have lengthy held that his late-season swoon a 12 months in the past was instantly associated to being relegated to the bench and taking part in second fiddle to Russell. Atkinson acknowledged as a lot, and Dinwiddie stated it was an adjustment.
“Any time your function adjustments drastically throughout the season, you must regulate,” Dinwiddie advised The Publish. “I knew what it was coming into [this] season, so it’s simple whenever you’ve obtained all summer season and all that different stuff to know what your function goes to be. There wasn’t an adjustment; I already knew what time it was.
“Anytime your function adjustments you must regulate. It’s not prefer it’s [Russell’s] fault. Your function adjustments, you do regardless of the function is you’re presupposed to do.”
Dinwiddie went from 13.6 factors earlier than the All-Star break to simply 10 after the break. That’s a part of why the Nets are so blissful he’s not solely seamlessly eased into his sixth man function this 12 months, however flourished in it.
“He’s accepted it, he’s embraced it, he’s by no means complained about not beginning. There’s by no means been a query,” stated Atkinson, admitting “I did suppose we’d have a difficulty, like, ‘Hey, man, I performed rather well in preseason, I’ve been nice in camp, I wish to begin.’
“[But] there’s been none of that. He’s accepted his function. Final 12 months we had some points with that. Within the second half of the season, I didn’t suppose he embraced it. So, for him to come back into the season with that mindset and embrace it, it’s nice to listen to Rick, a legendary coach, giving him a praise like that. That’s fairly cool.”
Atkinson pulled Jared Dudley for Rondae Hollis-Jefferson within the third quarter to protect Harrison Barnes. However he stated he’s not able to make a lineup change.
“I’m not able to go there but,” Atkinson stated. “I like how our first unit is taking part in, I like [Dudley] in that first unit, I like how he strikes the ball. It’s one thing we will have a look at down the highway however I feel we’ll most likely keep established order for now.”