If Dewayne Dedmon knows why he fell out of Spurs coach Gregg Popovich’s playing rotation during San Antonio’s playoff run last season, he isn’t saying. He’s now the starting center for the Hawks, his one season with the Spurs getting smaller and smaller in his rear-view mirror.
Dedmon started 37 regular-season games for the Spurs last season, averaging 5.1 points and 6.5 rebounds in 17.5 minutes per game for a team that went to the Western Conference Finals. But, he was replaced in the starting lineup during the team’s first-round series against Memphis and played more than eight minutes only once in the Spurs’ 16-game playoff run.
“I don’t know what it was,” Dedmon said on Monday night at AT&T Center, where the Hawks fell to 3-14 with an 96-85 loss to the Spurs. “But, it is what it is.”
Dedmon had 11 points, nine rebounds and two blocks in the loss.
What is important now for Dedmon is helping the Hawks figure a way through their rocky start. He believes the professionalism he learned in San Antonio can help.
“(I did) a lot of learning, a lot of growing,” he said of his one season with the Spurs. “So, it was a good year for me. Mostly, I take the level of professionalism everybody has (in San Antonio). I definitely take that wherever I go.”
Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer expected the professionalism from a former Spurs player, but was surprised by Dedmon’s upbeat personality.
“We are real happy with Dewayne,” Budenholzer said. “It’s been a great addition for us. I think everybody sees his play, but his personality adds a little bit of juice to the locker room, a little bit of some edge, some humor. It’s been great for us. We have a mix of a lot of young guys, but to have someone like him who has been around a little bit and has a voice, has a presence (is good). And, he has played well too, which is probably most important.”
Dedmon’s upbeat personality will be challenged if the Hawks don’t turn things around on the court soon.
“Once we figure out a way to get over that hump and just execute all game we’re going to be fine,” he said after the latest loss. “We’ve just got to get there and figure that out. (Being young) plays a part in it, but this is the NBA. You’ve got to grow quick. We’ve just got to keep fighting and figure it out.”