Spencer Dinwiddie
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Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson says Spencer Dinwiddie is “playing as good as any player in the NBA.”

The Brooklyn Nets have been without star point guard Kyrie Irving for their last eight games. The newly-acquired veteran, who joined the organization during the free agency period this past summer, has been nursing a right shoulder injury.

Despite the absence of their best player (Kevin Durant doesn’t count right now), the Nets have won six of those eight matchups. How have they been able to do it?

It’s simple: the emergence of point guard Spencer Dinwiddie.

Over the string of games, Dinwiddie has averaged 24.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 7.8 assists on 42.4% shooting from the field and 34% from behind the arc. After the most recent win over the Boston Celtics on Friday afternoon, Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson had high praise for Dinwiddie.

Ultimately, Atkinson said his primary reserve guard is “playing as good as any player in the NBA,” per Chris Sheridan of Forbes.

In the midst of the 112-107 home victory on Friday, Dinwiddie dropped 32 points, snatched five rebounds, and dished out 11 assists. He did this on 52.6% shooting from the field and 75% from three. Dinwiddie additionally hit all six of his attempts from the free-throw line.

It’s still unclear when Irving will return for the Nets. When he eventually does, it’ll be interesting to see what the team does with Dinwiddie’s overall role.

At 10-9 (seventh place in the Eastern Conference), the Nets will take on the third-place Miami Heat at home on Sunday afternoon. Tip-off will be at 3:00 p.m. ET.

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Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.