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2014-15 Pistons player reviews: Spencer Dinwiddie

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Dinwiddie was a revelation during his rookie season, but just how good was he?

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

This time last year, most Piston fans anxiously awaited the draft lottery results to find out whether or not Detroit would retain its eighth overall pick or have to send it to Charlotte as part of the 2012 Ben Gordon trade. As the Cleveland Cavaliers jumped to the top spot, the Pistons dropped to ninth and saw any chance of securing a first round talent vanish before their eyes, but little did we know that a tall, lanky guard by the name of Spencer Dinwiddie out of the University of Colorado would slip out of the first round due to an ACL tear.

Drafted with the premise of using the 2014-2015 season as a rehabbing year for his knee, Spencer would play 34 games, including one start, for the Pistons. Dinwiddie saw most of his action at first by default due to the lack of depth after Brandon Jennings ruptured his Achilles, and then due to him outplaying John Lucas III for minutes after the latter joined the team as a ten-day player.

Dinwiddie, with his 6-foot-6 frame, is one of the bigger point guards in the NBA, joining the likes of Michael Carter-Williams, Greivis Vasquez and Zach LaVine, and despite being a rookie, showed solid decision making and the ability to run an NBA offense. While his shooting left much to be desired (.302/.185/.912), his numbers in college (.420/.386/.830) and in the D-League (.406/.435/.867) suggest he should bounce back during his sophomore year. However, it was his potential as a facilitator that had many questioning whether he could be the Pistons' point guard of the future.

In limited minutes (455) Dinwiddie racked up a total of 104 assists across 33 turnovers, good for an assist to turnover ratio of 3.15, which would place him at seventh in that category among NBA point guards had he met the minutes requirements. For comparison's sake, here is where all the Pistons' point guards ranked in Assist-to-Turnover ratio this year: Brandon Jennings 7th (3.02), Reggie Jackson 27th (2.48), D.J. Augustin 31st (2.43) & John Lucas III unranked, although his 3.75 ratio would be good for fourth.

That being said, there is no question that Dinwiddie's number aren't a fluke, with big games against the likes of John Wall and Derrick Rose solidifying the idea that Stan Van Gundy and the Pistons may have drafted one of the better point guard prospects in his class. Here is what the other top rookie floor generals in his year averaged per 36:

Name

GP (GS)

FG%

3P%

FT%

PTS

REB

AST (TO)

STL

BLK

Dinwiddie

34 (1)

.302

.185

.912

11.5

3.8

8.2 (2.6)

1.5

0.5

Exum

82 (41)

.349

.314

.625

7.8

2.6

3.9 (2.3)

0.8

0.3

Smart

67 (38)

.367

.335

.646

10.4

4.4

4.1 (1.8)

2.0

0.4

Payton

82 (63)

.425

.262

.551

10.6

5.0

7.7 (2.9)

2.1

0.3

LaVine

77 (40)

.422

.341

.842

14.7

4.1

5.2 (3.7)

1.0

0.2

Compared to Brian Shaw by NBADraft.net, Dinwiddie has the potential to become what Shaun Livingston could have been had his career not been derailed by injuries. As the 22 year old continues to develop his game, there is no telling how high is ceiling is if he can replicate his playmaking ability in larger minutes, especially if he regains the shooting touch he exhibited in college and the D-League.

All statistics, unless mentioned otherwise, are from Basketball Reference