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Next Man Up: Spencer Dinwiddie

Spencer Dinwiddie sat down with NetsDaily before Wednesday’s matchup against the Cavaliers

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Brooklyn Nets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — One year ago, Spencer Dinwiddie was preparing for his first game as a Windy City Bull, the Chicago Bulls G-League affiliate.

Today, he’s starting for the Brooklyn Nets and has the defensive assignment on LeBron James with D’Angelo Russell out with a knee injury and Jeremy Lin out for the rest of the season.

Dinwiddie sees this as another game to prove himself. Nothing more.

“You play him [LeBron James] like the game plan says,” Dinwiddie told NetsDaily. “You do whatever it takes to get your team a win. Quite honestly, having been drafted, been in the league two years prior to starting in the D-League last year – and this isn’t a shot at anybody or anything – but I never saw myself as a D-League or G-League player. I see those just as my circumstances at the time. You had to grind and I got out of there.”

But he also understands this game is his chance to further assert himself in this rotation.

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m blessed for the role I have here in Brooklyn. But I don’t wake up when we play LeBron or anybody and say, ‘oh wow this is crazier than my wildest dreams.’ I’ve played ‘Bron before many times. I’ve never guarded him personally, but I’ve played the Cavs many times before. It’s another NBA game.”

Through four games, Spencer Dinwiddie has impressed with his play thus far. He’s averaged 13.4 points and eight assist PER 36 minutes. Coach Atkinson has spoken particularly well of him and feels he can play multiple positions.

Atkinson offered up words of encouragement for Dinwiddie before the game.

“It’s just... next man up,” Dinwiddie told NetsDaily. “Go out there and be aggressive. Do whatever it takes. We’re the type of team that’s very fluid. As you see, we plug guys in and out depending on how guys are playing. That’s just the product of ball we play… the system.”

And he’s right. The Nets depend on their depth and rely on all guys 1-15. Everybody is going to have to step up, but Spencer Dinwiddie will play an even more important role than he has in the past.