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Nets’ Spencer Dinwiddie says it’s “realistic” he could return during playoffs

The red-hot Knicks are currently the No. 4 overall seed in the Eastern Conference. Michael Holley and Michael Smith reveal how New York has transformed a rebuilding effort into potentially hosting a playoff series.

Two days after Christmas, Spencer Dinwiddie partially tore the ACL in his right knee. The next week, he had surgery. The Nets were granted a disabled player exception for Dinwiddie, something the league only grants in the cases where league doctors say a player will not return this season.

Dinwiddie will have none of your timelines.

Speaking at the tech conference Collision, Dinwiddie updated his recovery and talked about a playoff return, reports Diamond Leung at The Athletic.

As a rule, players are the worst at judging their own timeline for a return. These are people who have been able to push and trust their bodies to take them to the highest levels of athleticism, they have a sense of invulnerability, and almost to a man they think they will return to the court faster than team medical staffs do.

That said, the banged-up Nets could certainly use a Dinwiddie return to the court.

Throughout his rehab, Dinwiddie has said he is ahead of schedule. Whether he returns to the court this postseason or not, Dinwiddie has a financial motivation to show he is back to 100% — he is expected to opt-out of his $12.3 million contract for next season and become a free agent. It is expected around the league he will get a deal closer to starter money ($18 million a year or more), but not being healthy could put a dent in that number.

Being back for part of the Nets playoff run would show his health, although going from missing most of an NBA season to the intensity and physicality of a playoff series is a big leap for anyone.