The Nets will pair D’Angelo Russell and Spencer Dinwiddie together more in the second half of the season. Now they have to figure out how they fit, and how the rest of the pieces fit around them. “Assuming his minutes go up, I’d certainly hope so,” Dinwiddie said. “Because if not then that means I ain’t playing.” Brooklyn’s recent form has been a joke, but not the funny kind. The Nets come out of the All-Star break mired in a seven-game skid and, with 23 games left, one of the more important goals is assessing Russell and Dinwiddie on the court together. “That’s a job for coach [Kenny Atkinson] to make happen,” Russell said. “I’ll go out there and do what he says.” But it sounds like it’s a job Atkinson is taking on. “We’ve started to do it more, get a sample size. It’s something similar to Jeremy [Lin] and D’Angelo in the beginning,” Atkinson said. “I do like that. I do like having two guards that can really handle the ball. “Now, you’ve got to look at the other pieces and how they fit. Someone’s got to be out. One of our good wing players has got to be out if they’re going to play. Or we go super small. Figuring that puzzle out is a challenge. But yes, we can expect more of that.” Would Atkinson bench Allen Crabbe, who has finally found his stroke and averaged 25 points per game in his past four games? Or slide him to small forward? The Nets also could shift DeMarre Carroll to power forward, which they have done but often at the cost of defense and rebounding. Starting power forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is also expected back Monday from his groin injury.
Nets determined to make Russell-Dinwiddie pairing work
New York Post | Feb 22