Spencer Dinwiddie and the Washington Wizards are 5-2 in the young NBA season. The Washington Wizards are surprising many with their steady play and consistency.
Wes Unseld Jr. has been a shot in the arm for a Washington Wizards franchise seeking a current NBA identity. Dinwiddie, coming off a torn anterior cruciate ligament, is rejuvenated with the Washington Wizards and is turning out to be quite the compliment to superstar Bradley Beal.
I wonder if the Brooklyn Nets are having second thoughts about Spencer Dinwiddie given all the Kyrie Irving drama? Let's analyze Dinwiddie and his early contributions to the Washington Wizards.
Spencer Dinwiddie the player
Spencer Dinwiddie is a crafty point guard who can score with the best of them. After six games, Dinwiddie is averaging 18.8 points, five rebounds and six assists. He and Bradley Beal are wreaking havoc on back-court defenders and it appears his surgically repaired knee is holding up rather nicely.
The 28-year old out of Colorado also tore his left ACL as a junior in college. If there is anyone who knows the fight needed to rehab a serious knee injury, it most definitely is Dinwiddie. His hard work and commitment to building his knee back stronger is something Dinwiddie can add to the morale of the Washington Wizards.
In 2020, Dinwiddie averaged career highs with 20.6 points, 6.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds. The 2020-21 season was one to look forward to, and the team that Dinwiddie played for in those five games would not resemble what it looked like when he went down.
The Washington Wizards and how Dinwiddie fits in the team
The same can be said of the Washington Wizards. Under Scott Brooks, the Washington Wizards finished 34-38, and were bounced out of the playoffs by the much-talked about Philadelphia 76ers.
It was a season of ineptitude, and despite having a backcourt many teams would die for, the Washington Wizards were desperately in flux. One of the best players in franchise history, John Wall, went to the Houston Rockets.
Russell Westbrook scurried home to Los Angeles to play with LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Carmelo Anthony and the Los Angeles Lakers. What is it about Dinwiddie that changes things in DC, you ask?
#3 He brings ambitious hunger
Watching what went down with the Brooklyn Nets had to sting Dinwiddie. He was seen as a good piece for the Brooklyn Nets. Someone that would sneak up on opponents and put up 20/5/5 in his sleep.
Things were looking better in Brooklyn until he tore his knee. I wondered about Dinwiddie's eyes as he would watch sports shows speak about the Brooklyn Nets' big three of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden and rarely mention his name, if at all.
The legwork he did during rehab probably broke the machine, and a hunger was ignited within Dinwiddie that he will use to validate his comeback NBA season.
#2 Bradley Beal needs Spencer Dinwiddie
Wes Unseld Jr. was brought in to change things in DC. With Unseld Jr., Dinwiddie (I don't know how many times I've typed "Haywood" instead of "Dinwiddie") was seen as a player who would guide the ship from the floor and feed Bradley Beal wherever he needed the ball to score.
That Dinwiddie can also score alleviates pressure off Bradley Beal and early on, GM Tommie Sheppard is looking like a genius. Beal's numbers are down, yet playing alongside Dinwiddie, Bradley Beal will turn it around sooner rather than later.
From DC-based Hoops writer Rashad Mobley:
“Last season Bradley Beal said that Russell Westbrook was the best teammate he ever had. But just a few weeks into this season, it is clear that Spencer Dinwiddie is the teammate he really needed. Dinwiddie can shoot, run the point, he keeps his turnovers to a minimum, and most importantly, he can hit game-winning shots. That bodes well for the inevitable playoff run.”
There it is...
#1 The Washington Wizards are a sleeping giant
What has always been so perplexing about the Washington Wizards is why they haven't won big over the years since their last NBA title in 1978. Even hiring a former NBA title winner and franchise king in Wes Unseld Sr. as an executive wouldn't get the franchise over the hump.
With the squad they have, the Washington Wizards have to win during the regular season. Furthermore, they will have to post wins in the NBA playoffs to show other teams that they have truly arrived on the big stage. It will give DC fans something to wholeheartedly support and even raise expectations. Could this be the year?
Spencer Dinwiddie is not an All-NBA in the point guard slot, but is almost a leader who can do what it takes to win regardless of duty and hit clutch shots. His return from injury even helps fly the Washington Wizards firmly under the radar.
If the winning run keeps up as it has begun early this season, Dinwiddie will be up for the NBA All-Star Game consideration and also for something he deserves: NBA Most Improved Player of the Year.
Also Read: What is Bradley Beal's Net Worth in 2021?
Q. Will Spencer Dinwiddie win the NBA Most Improved Player award?
Looks like it.
No way. Too many other candidates.