Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Spencer Dinwiddie isn't going to sneak up on anyone this season. He's doubled his scoring over the last three seasons and established himself as one of the most important players on the Nets. So, opponents will key on Dinwiddie this season when they go over defensive plans for a game against Brooklyn. To counter that, Dinwiddie's added a few more wrinkles to his offensive repertoire this summer.
Below, Dinwiddie's trainer, Olin Simplis, takes us through some of Dinwiddie's new finishes, what Caris LeVert has worked on during sessions with Dinwiddie and Simplis and how Dinwiddie and LeVert can thrive alongside new Net Kyrie Irving.
Q: What's Spencer been working on this summer?
A: A lot of 3-pointers, playing through contact, and adding a couple more finishes to his game. Last summer, we did the one-leg, one-hand scoop right off the dribble that he was pretty successful with last season. This year, we're adding a lot of two-foot finishes a la Tony Parker because I like guards to get in the paint and finish off two (feet). You have so many different options. And a couple of hooks, we're working on hooks as well. Because he's going to be keyed in on a lot more this year. He's had two good seasons, back-to-back, and his game keeps evolving…. He's definitely going to draw more attention. So, we're working on creating more space off the dribble, being more efficient with sidesteps and cross step separations."
Q: Caris LeVert has worked out with Dinwiddie under you this summer. What did Caris work on in those workouts?
A: He's doing some of the same things I had Spencer doing as well when he comes. Two-foot finishes, creating off the dribble, working on the quick side-step separation. And the elongated, one-two separation. Because they also get the ball at the end of the shot clock. We worked on that last summer with Spencer. I think he had a couple game-winners with the elongated cross-step separation. So, we're really putting it into his arsenal more this summer. Because he did have a lot of end of shot-clock possessions last year.
He's dynamic himself (just as Dinwiddie is); there's so much synergy between those guys. They can play off the ball, they can play on the ball, they can be catch and shoot guys, they can be playmakers, they can be pick and roll (initiators). They can do so many different things, which kind of makes it scary that you added Kyrie to the mix.
Q: Do you see Caris and Spencer as good fits with Kyrie because of their versatility?
A: Definitely; their versatility and that they can guard multiple positions. The way the league is trending now, it's a positionless league. You can go with those three guys, and KD, as you're 1, 2, 3, 4. And they're all interchangeable. All of them can bring the ball up the floor, all of them can defend multiple positions. All of them can be placed in pick and roll reads. All of them can play catch and shoot because they all can shoot the ball very well. It's pretty dynamic. I won't say that it's Golden State-esque yet. But that's what makes Golden State so special. Klay Thompson can catch and shoot, Steph Curry can catch and shoot. Kevin Durant can catch and shoot. But you can also put the ball in their hands. Back in the day, you could either catch and shoot or you're really good at creating off the dribble. There wasn't this combination. And then the fact that they want to get after it defensively as well, Spencer's a really good, cerebral defender. Caris LeVert is a good defender. It can be really scary, it can be scary.
Q: You've trained Spencer since he was 12. Is there anything about Spencer's journey that's surprised you?
A: The perseverance part, no. Spencer has always been a kid overcame obstacles. He does his best when his back's against the wall. But does it surprise me that he's having the success that he's having? No, I've always felt that he's a really talented basketball player. Unfortunately, in LA, when you play the game right way you don't get the same buzz. I think Spencer averaged eight, ten, 11 points, but he averaged 10, 11, 12 assists (in a high school season). And he won everywhere he went. He played on the Pump N Run AAU team in high school and he was placed on the second team. He took that team and they won the national Adidas 64 tournament in Vegas. He played at Taft (high school) and they won some championships. He decided to go to Colorado where in his freshman year they joined the PAC 12 and they won the PAC 12 championship.
...The blessing I think, with his journey, is I think it's forced him to unleash his offensive package more. Which his father and I have tried to tell him to do more of, in college, coaches tried to tell him to do more of. Because he's such an unselfish player to begin with. He's always been a pass-first guard, which is what I develop. But you've still got to be able to put your foot on the gas and force your will. So I think the journey in and out of the G League has forced him to be more assertive and look to score more, because that's what the NBA wants. You have to be able to do both (score and distribute)."