PORTLAND, Ore. — When Spencer Dinwiddie committed a turnover with 4:26 left in the third quarter Friday night at Utah, it ended a streak of five full games without a turnover, covering a span of 151 minutes of playing time. Since Feb. 1, a span of 12 games before the Nets’ game against the Trail Blazers on Saturday night, Dinwiddie had 44 assists to just eight turnovers, a 5.5 ratio that ranks as the best in the NBA over that period among those who played at least 10 games.
What’s the difference? “I think more comfort in our offense is No. 1, and No. 2 is just being more aggressive,” Kenny Atkinson said of the point guard. “He was always trying to do the perfect thing. Then teams started pressuring us and he figured, ‘Hey, I have to be a threat against pressure.’ You see he’s driving the ball a lot to the rim. He’s still a young player learning this league, but we like the progress we see so far.”
Dinwiddie echoed Atkinson’s thoughts, but because he’s under pressure to be assured of a roster spot next season, he’s trying to do more. “I’m showing capability on defense,” he said. “They trust me to guard one through three [perimeter positions], All-Stars and all types of people. That’s the main thing keeping me around. Auxiliary players always have to defend. I’m most proud about that.”
Concussed Harris out
Nets guard Joe Harris was inactive after taking a hard fall at Utah in which he suffered a concussion and sprained left shoulder. He grew up in Chelan, Washington, and figured to have a lot of friends and family in Portland. “I spoke to him last night on the plane and again this morning,” Atkinson said. “I know he had a lot of people coming. So I feel bad about that, but his spirits are up. He’ll go through concussion protocol and hopefully be back soon.”