Season Recap/Notes: Spencer Dinwiddie.

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In case you missed it, here is the post for Darrun Hilliard.And you can follow the chain on from there to any others that you may have missed.

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Follow along with all the stats on basketball reference.Any stats that are not readily availible there will be linked to or otherwise noted. Also because it will be required for this post, here is a direct link to Spencer's D-League stats.

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As with the last couple, all of the numbers and thoughts here should come with the asterisk of small sample size and when referring to the D-League stuff it should be assumed to come with the asterisk of Is D-League.

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The Good:

Well, it's hard to say. He played so little that it is hard to glean much good here. The best thing that can really be said for him is that in the 2 games where he actually got to play outside of garbage time (Lakers game early in the season and the Cavs game at the very end.) He actually looked kind of ok.He actually had a short run of 5 games in November where he was the primary backup PG, and he was not terrible. Not all that good, but not terrible either. And just to be sure, I went back and re-read all of my recaps from those games to see. Combine that short stretch with his time in the D-League, and there are signs of a guy who is actually a useful player. Obviously at 6'6 and long arms he has good size for a PG. And even though his general bumbling around screens was a very real issue, he was able to make up for it to an extent with his size and would occasionally make some really impressive defensive plays. And on offense, he does not have enough shake to his game to easily create much space on his own, (although with his size and length, if he can learn to hid mindrange jumpers there is some Shaun Livingston potential there. But that's a long ways off lol) but he is straight line fast (courtesy of long strides) and when he gets a crease, often by way of a screen, he is able to rocket into the paint and do good stuff. He is a pretty good passer and a pretty good finisher, but most of all, dude draws a TON of fouls. His free throw rate (number of free throws attempted per FG attempt.) was .611 in the NBA (Which, for reference, James Harden was at .598 this season) and .411 in the D-League. This was a trend that started all the way back in summer league for Dinwiddie.

Basically, despite everything, there is still some signs of a useful NBA player here.

Also, if you never saw it, here is a great interview with Dinwiddie breaking down film about the Lakers game earlier this season. 

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The Bad:

He did still shoot just 10% from 3 this season, and 35% overall. (Even in the November stretch where he was pretty good, he shot 14% from 3 and 39% overall.) Those are not very good numbers. Although his D-League efficiency was much better (34% from 3, 42% overall. Combined with his heaps of free throws for a 55.6 TS%) but that is the D-League. Also, despite his natural gifts for playing defense (size, athleticism.) he was almost astonishingly bad at navigating screens which made him a pretty subpar defender most of the time. And while it is ok to have some troubles (there are plenty of second year players who play all the time and still struggle with screens) it was at times a little frightening how badly he struggled.

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Biggest Answer:

Nothing. We are in the same place with him as we were after last year. There are some things to like, but he hasn't gotten much chance to show them, and when he has it has not been super impressive.

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So the D-League?

Since there is not "Biggest answer" I'll talk a bit about his D-League performance since I actually watched most of those games. A lot of people will (or already have) pointed to that he did not have all that great counting stats, and most of the time an NBA player is in the D-League they put up really big numbers. (Just go back to Darrun Hilliard for evidence here.) And here is what I will say to that. It seemed to me that Dinwiddie was asked to try and really play point guard, not just put up big numbers. So for instance, when Hilliard came down for his games, dude was straight chucking pretty much whenever he got on the floor. As in my man might have been gunning for 60 Kobe style. Dinwiddie never played like that. And this is a bad way to give evidence so take it for what its worth, but usually it is not hard to tell which D-Leaguers actually are NBA players. It was always easy (to me at least) to see that Dinwiddie was too good to be playing in the D-League. Like you can just tell that he is better than the other guys. So yeah, take it for what its worth. But I would definitely say that Dinwiddie could have put up bigger numbers if he had wanted to.

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Biggest Question?

Can he prove this offseason that he is worth keeping? He would likely not have to do a lot since he will be very cheap for another season. But the reality is, that as much as I (and I think others as well) would really like to see him get a shot, and that he will catch on eventually, (even if someone other than Detroit.) he is 23, and 2 years behind him, and he has not been able to hold onto a rotation spot. And even though I still think he could have done better than Blake, if he had clearly shown he would be better, then SVG would have played him. And Steve Blake did not set that bar very high this season. It is not a good sign that there was reasonable doubt that he was better than Blake. (Which even I have to admit, there was reason to doubt it.)

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The Verdict for next season and beyond?

I totally forgot this bit on the last few posts, my apologies.

I hope that Spencer is still on the team this season just because I still see some stuff that I like with him, and I would like to see him get a real shot. But the reality is, if he is not on the team as a result of getting cut, or maybe as a throw in sweetener to some sort of trade, it will be hard to be too upset about it.

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What do you think? Do you want Spencer to get one last shot? Or should the Pistons move on? Let me know! We all get smarter!