Spencer Dinwiddie wasn’t a celebrated figure when he first came to the Mavericks. As the main part of the Kristaps Porzingis return package, Dinwiddie represented the waving of the white flag.
For three seasons the Mavericks waited for KP to re-reach his potential. And for three seasons KP struggled to find any level of consistency, let alone that star status the Mavs were looking for. So when Dallas traded KP for Dinwiddie and Washington teammate Davis Bertans, it seemingly marked defeat to MFFL (Mavs fans).
Spencer Dinwiddie must pick up where he left off for the Mavericks to survive the loss of Jalen Brunson
As everyone knows, Dinwiddie’s impact on the Mavs was anything but defeat last season. He exploded onto the scene, instantly melded with teammates, and fully endeared himself to fans who once looked at him with a critical eye.
Spencer Dinwiddie proved himself as both a creator and a complementary scorer. He could play in place of Luka Doncic or alongside Luka Doncic. His field goal percentage and three-point percentage were the best of his career, and his 15.8 points were the best since his breakout season in Brooklyn back in 2019-20.
He was a key part in the Dallas Mavericks postseason run last season and will be a key part again in 2022-23 as the Mavs try to run it back without Jalen Brunson playing the role of Robin.
It’s understandable many are calling on Tim Hardaway Jr and Christian Wood to replace Brunson’s production. Hardaway was absent most of last season and Wood is an offseason addition, so it’s logical the new pieces replace the old piece.
But the man who really needs to replace Brunson is Dinwiddie, even if he was already here during the run. Unlike the other two, Dinwiddie is a creator (like Brunson). He can run the offense while Luka is out and not many guys can claim that ability. His leadership is comparable to Brunson as well. Some players got it and some don’t. Dinwiddie’s got it.
Looking at the upcoming season it’s Dinwiddie who has to take up the role of Brunson. And if you’re compelled to do the whole “tit for tat” thing, use Hardaway and Wood to replace the production of Dinwiddie so everything is neat and tidy.
The good news is Dinwiddie offers more in the form of playing alongside Luka Doncic whereas Brunson’s effectiveness was maxed in the absence of Doncic. Dinwiddie’s skill set means he can be just as effective next to Luka as he is without Luka. He can effectively play a different role which pays off the most in the final minutes of the game.
Are the Mavs going to be a better team this coming season? We’ll see, but there’s certainly reason for optimism and much of that comes from Dinwiddie being able to take over Brunson’s role and claim the No. 2 status.