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Spencer Dinwiddie: 2019-20 Brooklyn Nets Player Recaps

Dinwiddie led Brooklyn with career highs in points and assists

One more time, the Brooklyn Nets turned to Spencer Dinwiddie to take a lead role in 2019-20. Two years earlier, injuries thrust Dinwiddie into a starting role for 58 of his 80 games, and that fourth NBA season was a breakthrough for the versatile 6-foot-5 guard, who was included among the finalists for the league’s Most Improved Player. In 2018-19, he was one of the league’s most effective players off the bench, and a thumb injury that sidelined him for a month likely cost him a return to the NBA Awards presentation, this time in the Sixth Man of the Year category.

This time, the injuries to Kyrie Irving and Caris LeVert again put Dinwiddie at the forefront, and he delivered at a rate that exceeded what he did either of the last two seasons. He led the Nets in both scoring (20.6 points per game) and assists (6.8 per game), both career highs. Dinwiddie appeared in all 64 games the Nets played before the NBA season was suspended in March, starting 49. After a positive COVID-19 test in late June, he had to opt out of the NBA restart in Orlando.

Clutch play was part of what elevated Dinwiddie’s profile two seasons ago, and he was at it again this season as well, with three game-winners, against the Cavaliers, Pacers and Lakers. The elbow jumper that lifted the Nets to a 104-102 win in Los Angeles on March 10 turned out to be Dinwiddie’s last shot of the season, a fitting coda to the year for a player who has seamlessly slipped into whatever role the Nets have asked of him, including seizing the spotlight.

TOP THREE GAMES

Dec. 19 at San Antonio

Dinwiddie put up a career-high 41 points against the Spurs in a game that got away from Brooklyn in the second half. He shot 14-for-29 overall, 9-for-10 from the free throw line and added five assists.

Nov. 29 vs. Boston

In this day-after-Thanksgiving matinee, Dinwiddie put up 32 points with 11 assists against the Celtics, with two steals and two blocks. He shot 10-for-19 overall, including 6-for-8 from 3-point range, one of this best games of the season beyond the arc. Dinwiddie scored 14 points in the third quarter, including 11 straight that had the Nets up by 14 on the way to a 112-107 win.

Dec. 21 vs. Atlanta

Two nights after that career high in San Antonio, Dinwiddie almost matched it against the Hawks, finishing with 39 points, six assists, and six rebounds. He shot 13-for-27 overall and 11-for-12 from the foul line. The Nets trailed by as many as 18 points in this one, but finished fast, led by Dinwiddie. He scored 16 points in the fourth quarter — making 6-of-7 shots — and was plus-21 for the period as the Nets outscored the Hawks 37-14 in the final quarter of this 122-112 win.

BY THE NUMBERS

26.1 & 7.2

That’s 26.1 points and 7.2 assists per game for Dinwiddie for 18 games between Nov. 16 and Dec. 21. The Nov. 16 game in Chicago was Dinwiddie’s first start of the season, with the Nets reeling at the end of a five-game road trip, having lost three straight games and lost Kyrie Irving and Caris LeVert in the process. Dinwiddie had 24 points in the win over the Bulls, the first of five wins in the next six games. The Nets would go 12-6 over those 18 games, with Dinwiddie ranking ninth in the NBA in scoring and tying for 12th in assists during that stretch.

5.4 & 7.0

Dinwiddie was 13th in the NBA in free throws made and free throws attempted per game. Both were career highs as he also shot 77.8 percent.

17.1 & 10.5

Dinwiddie was ninth in the NBA with 17.1 drives per game and 10th with 10.5 drive points per game.

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