College

The Rise of Spencer Dinwiddle

By Shane Rabacs ’18

In the first half of the 2017-2018 NBA season, Spencer Dinwiddie has gone from role player to leader on the Brooklyn Nets.

The start of the year started off pretty tame for Dinwiddie. In the position of backup point guard, he averaged nine points and five assists in a mere 21 minutes per game. But then, on November 17, D’Angelo Russell went out with knee surgery, and Dinwiddie was thrown into the starting role for the foreseeable future. Since then, Dinwiddie has averaged 14.7 points and seven assists, highlighted by his 31 points, 8 assist game Monday against Toronto and his near triple double Friday: 20 points, 10 assists and 9 rebounds.

Dinwiddie has had the ball in his hands more, and his confidence has grown over time. He doesn’t look timid. In fact, he is sometimes confident to a fault. Down the stretch of some games, he has taken ill advised threes.

His play has helped keep Brooklyn afloat and still in the playoff picture. They are six games back of the eighth seeded Indiana Pacers.

Dinwiddie plays with the savvy that someone who is 24. He constantly gets guys in the right spots and knows how to draw fouls. With 1.4 turnovers a game, he is near the top of the NBA in assist-to-turnover ratio among players who get substantial minutes on a team that plays at the fifth-fastest tempo in the league. In the 1,114 minutes Dinwiddie has been on the floor, the Nets have an offensive rating of 105.4; when he’s off, it goes to 99.2.

Earlier this year, a self proclaimed movement started on twitter to get Dinwiddie a starting spot in this year’s all-star game in Los Angeles. Even though Dinwiddie isn’t on the top vote getter list, you can’t hide it, there is Spencer Dinwiddie #NBAVote tweet everywhere you go on NBA twitter.

When Russell returns, Dinwiddie is expected to stay in the starting lineup. The dynamic between those two will be an interesting storyline to watch, as they both need the ball in their hands to succeed.

 

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Is the Patriots Dynasty really about to End

By Jarod Ferguson ’18

For the past 18 there have been three guarantees: Death, taxes and the New England Patriots being successful in the NFL. Even amidst different controversies such as Spygate and Deflategate, they have been a model for consistency and excellence. They’ve won 16 division crowns, appeared in 11 AFC Championship games, played in seven Super Bowl and captured five Super Bowl titles. Their success in the 21st century is unrivaled by any NFL franchise and quite possibly any other professional franchise in any of the other big four sports.

However, like all great Empires, like the Roman and Ottoman, they have to end. In Seth Wickersham’s article for ESPN, he went into great detail on how the model franchise has tension inside. He talked about how Bill Belichick was angry that he had to trade future prodigy Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo for just a second round pick. Also Tom Brady is angry that he can no longer have his trainer, Alex Guerrero, in the Patriots facility. There is palpable tension between the two men who architected this great run and it has the whole NFL community wondering: What will happen to this great dynasty. Will it end?

I do think that the dynasty of the Patriots will end sooner rather than later. They employ a quarterback who is 40 years old and they traded away their succession plan in Garoppolo. Bill Belichick has had history of getting rid of elder players before and Brady would not have been any different. Brady knew this, and that is why he went to owner and his friend, Bob Kraft, and told him to get rid of Garoppolo. He knows that for every Joe Montana and Brett Favre, there’s Steve Young and Aaron Rodgers waiting in the wings ready to take your job. That’s just the business of the NFL. In the end, Brady got what he wanted but Belichick, being the smart man that he is, he will have a plan to leave the Patriots, with his legacy in tack.

While if, and when this dynasty does end, we as NFL consumers should marvel at the accomplishments of the New England Patriots of the last 18 years. However, this dynasty will end, and it will come sooner than you think.