Most important Dallas Mavericks in playoffs: 2. Spencer Dinwiddie
The centerpiece of the Mavs' return in their trade that sent Kristaps Porzingis to the Washington Wizards has absolutely made his presence known. Spencer Dinwiddie has played 17 games with the Mavericks, and he is certainly making his case to be considered a true second option to Luka Doncic.
Dinwiddie is averaging 17.4 points per game while shooting a career-high 49.8 percent from the field and 39.0 percent from three.
In addition to his scoring numbers, Dinwiddie has also been a proven playmaker. For the season, the eight-year veteran posts an assist to turnover ratio of 3.5, good enough for 12th in the NBA. He's shown the ability to create open looks for his teammates while taking care of the basketball, a crucial trait come playoff time.
Not only has the 28-year-old been an effective scorer and playmaker, but he's also showcased his ability to close big games. Look no further than when he hit the game-winning three at the buzzer to beat the Brooklyn Nets on the road. Not impressed? How about the game before that when he knocked down a three on the road in Boston to put the Mavs up by three with 11 seconds to go? Needless to say, the guy can put a game away.
In the 57 games before Dinwiddie made his debut in Dallas, the Mavericks had a winning percentage of 57.9. Since then, the Mavs have won 72.2 percent of their games. Yes, it's a small sample size, but there's no reason not to read into the impact on winning he's had so far.
The Mavs were forced to put almost all of the ball-handling pressure on the shoulders of Luka Doncic and Jalen Brunson before Dinwiddie's arrival. Now, they can give some of those responsibilities to their new playmaker and give the other two a chance to breathe which is going to pay dividends in the playoffs.