Rise of Brooklyn Nets' Spencer Dinwiddie Continues With Skills Challenge Invite
Spencer Dinwiddie will get a chance to show off his skills in front of a national audience
Months of fan-driven campaigns for Spencer Dinwiddie to be in All-Star weekend have finally paid off.
The 24-year-old is scheduled to participate in the 2018 Taco Bell Skills Challenge in his hometown of Los Angeles. Without question, it is proper recognition for an unexpected breakout season by the Nets’ guard.
Dinwiddie has significantly improved in his fourth-year in the NBA, averaging career-highs in every major statistical category: Points (13.4), assists (6.4) and rebounds (3.3). In his first season as a full-time starter, he is among the top five in assist-to-turnover ratio (4.04) among qualified players, top 10 in assist percentage (35.7) and is in the top 30 in Real Plus-Minus at (3.31).
Most importantly, Dinwiddie never wavered at the challenges thrown his way. When Brooklyn saw its two leading guards in Jeremy Lin and D’Angelo Russell go down with significant injuries, Dinwiddie embraced the role of being both the leading playmaker and go-to guy with the game on the line. He sits just outside the top 10 in clutch scoring – points scored in the final five minutes of close games. And whether he makes an incredible game-winner like in Detroit on Jan. 21 or misses – his demeanor remains the same: Confident. He never shies away from tough questions during postgame media scrums and genuinely believes he can go toe-to-toe with the elite players in the league.
Make no mistake, the Skills Challenge isn’t the NBA All-Star Game. Yet, just a season ago, Dinwiddie was fighting for his NBA survival in the G League. There was a very real possibility that he could have been in Europe instead of being one of the league’s most exciting young guards. Dinwiddie always uses the word opportunity when he discusses this season. He points to the fact that Sean Marks and Kenny Atkinson could have pursued a veteran when Lin and Russell went down, but they wanted to see what he could do. It is because of that fact that he acknowledges he grabbed this chance and did whatever he could to excel in it.
So now, he has the opportunity to show just how far he’s come in front of a national audience. It is well-deserved.