Spencer Dinwiddie is healthy enough to return to the lineup after dealing with an ankle injury and bone bruise for the better part of the past month. Prior to his injury, Dinwiddie spent considerable time in the NBA D-League as a member of the Grand Rapids Drive where he averaged 14.7 points, 6 assists and 2.2 steals in 13 games.
Dinwiddie hasn't seen the floor for the Pistons since Dec. 12, playing 3-plus minutes and not making a dent in the box score otherwise. For the season, he's played nine games and averaged 4.4 points, 1.4 assists and shot 40 percent.
That being said, he could see action tonight and during the rest of the season as a defensive alternative to Steve Blake, who, at 36 years old, struggles to keep up with many point guards.
Dinwiddie is not lighting quick, but he is 6-foot-6 and understands how to stay in front of his man to deny penetration. He still is prone to get lost in space and struggles in rotation, but that seems to have more to do with lack of playing time than lack of basketball IQ.
His length could be a big factor tonight against the Atlanta Hawks, where they could use him against lightning-quick but light-shooting Dennis Schroeder.
There's no telling how much floor time Dinwiddie is going to see for the rest of the season, but he'll need to use whatever time he gets in games and in practice to make an impression. He has an unguaranteed $980K coming next season, and will need to convince Stan Van Gundy it will be worth the roster spot and time to continue investing in him as a reserve point guard worth developing.