BROOKLYN — The last time the Nets faced the Philadelphia 76ers Spencer Dinwiddie was wearing a Brooklyn jersey. Fast forward four years later and Dinwiddie is again wearing a Nets jersey and the NBA club from Kings County is getting ready to face the Sixers yet again.
Dinwiddie spent five years in Brooklyn before he left in 2021 as part of a sign and trade with Washington. But it was seemingly fate that brought him back to the Nets at the deadline this season as part of the deal that sent Kyrie Irving to Dallas.
Since his return, Dinwiddie has become a core piece of the new-look Nets and he is embracing the chance to help do something special this year.
“Brooklyn is home in terms of my NBA career for sure,” Dinwiddie said following practice on Thursday. “Two places I’ve loved playing are Dallas and Brooklyn. You know, I’ve got a lot of love for both places. And if Dallas was going to trade me anywhere, I’m glad it was here. And, you know, it would be probably the biggest honor of my career if I were able to help bring a championship to Brooklyn out of any place in my career.”
Dinwiddie quickly became an invaluable piece for the Nets across the floor and a leader in the locker room. Defensively, he averaged 1.1 steals over the regular season with the Nets and his 9.1 assists per game have shown his smart decision-making with the ball on the offensive end of the floor.
The Nets aren’t the favorites going into the best-of-seven series with the 76ers and Dinwiddie understood why, but he also pointed to the veteran ladened roster that Brooklyn does have, which includes a number of guys with playoff experience.
Dinwiddie is obviously a part of that collective, along with breakout star Mikal Bridges, who went to an NBA Final with the Phoenix Suns. Patty Mills won a title while he was with the San Antonio Spurs.
“The good thing about having the maturity of the guys in this locker room, we understood that we have the talent to really kind of make a run,” Dinwiddie said. “If we play defense to the way we want to, then we have a shot at beating anybody, you know what I mean? And so we understood that, we work towards that, we’re in a position to try and take advantage of that and you’ve got to let the chips fall where they may.”
And again, Dinwiddie emphasized what it would mean to win with the Nets.
“Brooklyn is home for me in the NBA and so winning for Brooklyn is probably the biggest thing I could do outside of maybe LA because that’s my actual hometown,” he said. “Or maybe the Nuggets because of Boulder. But there’s only a couple of places that you’re really going to feel tied to and feel like you’re home and this is one of them.”
Dorian Finney-Smith says wrist is ‘coming along’
The Nets are two days away from the opening game against the Sixers on Saturday and Dorian Finney Smith said on Thursday that his wrist was “coming along” after missing the season finale due to wrist injury management. He said that he was monitoring how many shots he was getting up and not trying to do too much.
“For me, I just listen to the guys back there that tell me to calm down,” Finney-Smith said. “You know, don’t go shoot on your days off and do too much because like I said I love to work so I just want to get my reps. So I just got to monitor myself a little bit.”