Nets coach Kenny Atkinson believes Spencer Dinwiddie is nearing All-Star level
The Brooklyn Nets had a tough start to the 2019-20 NBA regular season campaign and most pundits believed it would have gone tougher with superstar Kyrie Irving out for a prolonged period due to a shoulder issue.
Brooklyn, however, has managed to solider on without their prized offseason acquisition, compiling a 16-13 record good for seventh place in the Eastern Conference standings. A big reason for their surge is the spectacular play of Spencer Dinwiddie, who has taken over the reigns as the team’s best player in Irving’s stead.
Relatively unknown before being drafted by the Detroit Pistons 38th overall in 2014, Dinwiddie has become a lethal scorer in the pros. This season, he is averaging career-bests of 22.7 points and 6.2 assists while draining 43.5 percent of his field goals and 30.8 of his 3-pointers.
Among those who believe that the 26-year-old combo guard has been playing in an All-Star level is head coach Kenny Atkinson, who aired his support for Dinwiddie.
“Still early. He’s got to do it for an even longer period. That’s the real step up for guys that make the All-Star team: Can they do it?” Atkinson said, via Brian Lewis of the New York Post. “He’s starting to get in that area, where he’s doing it game after game after game. You could argue that’s his biggest leap, that he’s not having the ups and downs that he had in the past.”
Dinwiddie has already displayed flashes of brilliance last season playing alongside D’Angelo Russell. His significant improvement has also earned him a place in the Most Improved Player of the Year discussion.
“That’s a mentality and that’s years in the league and confidence,” Atkinson said. “I’m not sure how many games Spencer’s had in a row, but he’s starting to enter into that conversation, the guys that can do it.”