The New York Post’s Brian Lewis ponders the role that stellar Nets point guard Spencer Dinwiddie will have when injured All-Star Kyrie Irving returns. Lewis notes that former Net Paul Pierce has proposed one possible solution on ESPN: Irving could start at shooting guard while Dinwiddie keeps rolling at the point guard slot. Brooklyn boasts a 11-6 record with Dinwiddie at the helm since Irving went down. The team was 4-7 before the injury.
“Kyrie’s still learning exactly what we want to do,” Nets coach Kenny Atkinson allowed in recent comments. “Spencer’s got a little more corporate knowledge. It’s going to take time for Kyrie to completely understand what we’re doing on both sides of the ball.”
Meanwhile, Malika Andrews of ESPN notes that Irving has yet to be cleared for contact practices with the Nets, according to Atkinson (Twitter link). Two weeks ago, Atkinson had said that Irving would be ready for contact by this stage.
There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:
- Coach Brad Stevens noted via the official Celtics Twitter account (link) that the health status of Gordon Hayward for his team’s next game will be “bumped up to probable after today.” Hayward’s various maladies have relegated him to just 11 games played this season.
- Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News takes a look at the differences between ex-Knicks head coach David Fizdale and his interim replacement, Mike Miller. The Knicks are 3-4 since Miller slid over on the bench to take charge. They were 4-18 under Fizdale to start the season.
- The Sixers offense was once again confounded by a zone defense, this time one enacted by the Mavericks, in a 117-98 loss on Friday. The defeat marked the team’s second consecutive home loss, after initially going 15-0 at the Wells Fargo Center to start the season. According to The Athletic’s Rich Hoffman, coach Brett Brown noted that opponents’ successful zone trapping was so demoralizing it has helped cultivate a lackluster Sixers effort on defense, too. “I think that the influence that our inability lately to… be put on our back heels against the zone, has crept into our defense, our psyche, our spirit,” Brown said. “And I can’t stand it.”