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Spencer Dinwiddie not sure why his numbers are down since All-Star break

Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie dribbles the ball up

Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie dribbles the ball up court against the Toronto Raptors during an NBA basketball game at Barclays Center on March 13, 2018. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Spencer Dinwiddie needs to play better. This much he knows. Theories have floated as to why the Nets point guard is averaging nine points since the All-Star break. Did the break mess up his rhythm? Could his minutes, 29.2 per game — less than a minute off the team lead — have anything to do with the struggles? Could a lack of drive be why he doesn’t seem to be driving to the hoop with as much frequency?

None of these theories float for Dinwiddie, who was quick to dismiss any talk of being tired, or unmotivated, after practice Thursday.

“I don’t get tired, man,” Dinwiddie said at the Nets facility in Brooklyn on the eve of Friday’s game in Philadelphia. “I don’t get tired.”

Dinwiddie’s number’s have dipped in the last three weeks. The 24-year-old averaged 13.6 points before the All-Star break and 14.9 points in January, his best month of the season. He has put up single digit scoring numbers in four of the Nets’ last six games, including seven points in 28 minutes in the team’s 116-102 loss to the Raptors on Tuesday.

“Spencer is a heck of a player. I just think he can be more aggressive,” coach Kenny Atkinson said. “ . . . His driving to the rim has slipped. Sometimes I can see that passive mentality when he gets it, not attacking a close-out right away.”

The Nets (21-47) have are 1-6 in March and Dinwiddie sees a direct correlation between his subpar play and the team’s struggles.

“When we’ve lost games this year, I’ve either lost my defensive matchup, not drove enough, not made enough shots, or whatever else it is,” said, Dinwiddie, who is averaging 13 points and 6.9 assists this season. “I have to do better on a consistent basis helping the team win games.”

Here’s another theory: Has the presence of D’Angelo Russell, who started to play major minutes right around the time Dinwiddie began to show signs of slumping, hurt his backcourt-mate?

Swing and a miss on that theory, too, Dinwiddie said.

“We are basketball players,” he said. “At some point in time, we’ve all played well together. It’s all about getting that to click collectively, at one time, consistently . . . There is no pairing that we cannot use to our benefit. There is no such thing as fatigue. This is our job. We get paid to do this and I am supposed to come here and do my job every game.”

Among the many theories as to why he’s not playing well, the ‘can’t play with D’Angelo’ theory may be the one Dinwiddie is quickest to dismiss. He also wants everyone to know that he’s not tired.

“I’m not tired of playing basketball, nor is my mind tired or my body tired,” Dinwiddie said. “I’m ready to do this. Lets go.”

[/BOLD]Notes & quotes: Jarrett Allen, who missed Tuesday’s loss to Toronto with a sore left foot, practiced Thursday and is on track to play Friday. Shooting guard Allen Crabbe did not practice Thursday because of illness, Atkinson said.

New York Sports