“I think that’s what hurt the most”

In search of another ball carrier and a little shooting, the Dallas Mavericks made a bet that surprised a lot of people at the deadline when they sent Kristaps Porzingis in Washington in exchange for Davis Bertans and Spencer Dinwiddie. Both were very disappointing in the capital, but after a few encounters, this bet seems to have paid off, especially because Dinwiddie is impressive!

Signed for 3 years and $54 million after his knee injury, he was a shadow of his former self in Washington, and there seemed to be some tension in the team. He had, for example, stated that he had tried to establish himself as one of the vocal leaders of the team and that it had not been well received. This fueled rumors that he wasn’t too well liked in the dressing room.

“I think that’s what hurt the most,” Dinwiddie said. “I have never criticized Washington. I never said anything bad about the team. Actually, I thank the owner Ted [Leonsis], I thank Tommy Sheppard the GM and I thank Bradley Beal, the three people who decided to give me my contract. They didn’t need to pay someone coming out of a cruciate ligament rupture in their knee. I’m grateful for that, for the time I spent there. … I’m grateful for all of that, for the time I was there… So being criticized on the way out definitely hurt me. I am human. »

But in Dallas he is having a blast, like his huge performance last night in the absence of Luka Doncic: 36 points at 11/22 and 7 assists to lead the Mavs to victory against the Kings in a comeback of 19 points. In the last 5 games, he has 22.2 points at 57.1% and 6 assists, playing a major role in the end of the game.

“He’s been very receptive to coaching and to his teammates, and they trust him,” Jason Kidd said. “That’s one of the hardest things: how quickly will trust build? I think you can see the confidence is at a very high level when he’s on the court. »

When asked why he adapted so quickly, he slips a small tackle to the Wizards.

“I don’t want to add to it, but I think it’s just down to our commitment to the collective and the fact that winning games is all that matters. »

Since he arrived, the Mavs are 6-1 and he seems to be rediscovering the joy of playing and his best level. He puts it down to the freedom he has in Dallas, and what he’s asked to do, including being aggressive.

“I do what I do and I don’t do what I’m not supposed to do,” Dinwiddie said. “This is the case for the 15 players on the team. Everyone here has that type of mentality because we understand that to win games, not just in the regular season, but to win in the playoffs, you need that. »

Yet in Washington everything had started well for him and the team. At 10-3 to start, he was shooting 17 points and 6 assists, clutches in several games. Then obviously he was asked to change his approach. His performance then fell, he who was running at 8.4 points at 27% in the last 9 games in Washington, including 8 losses.

“I fought for those guys,” Dinwiddie said, “When my role changed and they wanted me to pass more – they felt like I was scoring a lot – I did. I eased off scoring because they thought the team needed Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to get more shots. I told them, ‘Look, I’ve already been paid. So I’ll try to get the shots you need, whatever.”

“Then getting kicked out was a pretty weird feeling. I hadn’t really experienced that before. But I still have nothing bad to say, other than, yeah, it hurt me. But like anything else, one becomes cautiously optimistic about one’s new situation. So far it suits me perfectly. I like what I’m being asked to do here, which is go in the snow, and I’m going to continue to do that and try to be of service. »