Wizards' new PG Spencer Dinwiddie not missing a beat in return from torn ACL

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Spencer Dinwiddie not missing a beat in return from torn ACL originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

With the Wizards down by three points nearing the end of regulation, Spencer Dinwiddie pulled up from 3-point territory for a long shot to tie the game. And with just under two minutes to play in overtime, he did it again. 

Dinwiddie’s clutch shooting down the stretch left him with 34 points, and the Wizards with a gutsy come-from-behind win in overtime over the Pacers by a 135-134 margin at Capital One Arena.

“I think people are going to guard me a little bit softer because they don’t want me in the paint and getting layups or throwing lobs to our bigs,” Dinwiddie said. “Being a little bit taller, with the work that I put in on my jumper over the course of my rehab process, understanding the longevity of my career, you’ve just gotta trust your process, let it fly and live with the misses.”

Absent Bradley Beal (right hip contusion), the Wizards needed their depth to come up big. And they certainly did. 

Dinwiddie scored 34 points, Kyle Kuzma had 26, Raul Neto had 18, Davis Bertans had 17 and Montrezl Harrell had 14. Of the Wizards’ top five scorers, three weren’t on the roster last season.

The win lifted the Wizards to 2-0 and was a nice showcase for the depth they added this offseason, a significant portion of which came in the form of Dinwiddie’s performance. He added nine assists and six rebounds to boot, as he made 13 of his 24 field goals on the night. 

Without Beal, he knew he’d have to step up.

“I wouldn’t say No. 1 scoring option necessarily, but more aggressive for sure,” Dinwiddie said. “You take out your No. 1, not just scorer, but probably playmaker just in terms of the amount of havoc that he wreaks. It’s what I was brought in here to do, be the secondary playmaker. So if your primary is out, then your secondary has to play better.”

Dinwiddie spent the last few months both rehabbing a torn ACL in his right knee and working on his jumpshot. Friday night, he got to show everything off.

“[Dinwiddie is] a guy that, well, he can score from all three different levels,” Bertans said. “He’s (got a) really quick first step, he can get to the rim. That’s sort of the moment where the defense has to collapse and that’s the type of game I enjoy actually. Moving around and finding the open spot and just be ready to catch the pass when it comes.”