CHICAGO — Spencer Dinwiddie returned to Chicago richer and redeemed.
A week after securing a three-year, $34 million extension with the Nets, Dinwiddie was able to return to play the team that waived him twice before he was scooped up by the Nets in 2016, scoring a game-high 27 points off the bench.
But unlike the Pistons, who drafted him, Dinwiddie said he holds no bad blood for the team with which he played only five preseason games. He even credits the coaching staff on their G-League team for helping him get back to the NBA.
“It’s not the same situation,” he said jovially. “I’ve got a lot of love for those guys over there. Still have friends on team and staff.”
Dinwiddie was instrumental in the Nets’ win, too, getting a pivotal steal with 2.4 seconds left and sealing the game with two free throws.
Before the game, Nets coach Kenny Atkinson continued to praise Dinwiddie, who he said hasn’t slacked off since his big payday.
“Continued improvement,” he said of Dinwiddie’s play. “I think the athleticism, the talent is there, but his — obviously, he bounced back from that injury that he had, the early injury. He just keeps getting better. I don’t want put a ceiling on him. I think what’s been really, really — what I’m really pleased with since he’s agreed to the contract, I think his play has been really good. I haven’t seen any dip, like relax, or hey, I’m signed now. I’ve got a nice deal. He’s playing as hard as ever and keeps improving.”
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was able to play on Wednesday after suffering a quad contusion against the Lakers on Tuesday.
Allen Crabbe (sore knee) missed his fourth straight game on Wednesday, though Kenny Atkinson said he still does not believe the injury to be serious. “We’re just being cautious,” he said. “He’s got to build up a little bit before he comes back.” Crabbe’s injury is complicated by the Nets schedule, which doesn’t leave much room for practices in the coming days. Atkinson said, if necessary, the team could create a three-on-three or a five-on-five on a non-practice day. “That’s not a concern. We can get him the work he needs.”