The San Antonio Spurs’ 2017 first round pick made the jump from the G League to starting point guard this year, which is why Derrick White runs away with our Most Improved Player award.
The San Antonio Spurs felt like they may be in trouble at the point guard position after Dejounte Murray went down with a torn ACL just weeks before the beginning of the regular season.
They liked what Derrick White accomplished in the G League as a rookie leading the Austin Spurs to the title while scoring over 20 points per game and filling out the rest of the stat sheet with 5 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.2 blocks per night.
However, they had never seen him carry over that type of production to an NBA floor.
After a heel injury delayed the beginning of his second season in the league, White has proven that he was well worth that first round pick the Spurs spent on him.
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I dove deep into the emergence of Derrick White a couple of weeks ago, and he has continued to keep up that pace over the last several games.
White started to turn it on in December when Gregg Popovich decided to roll with him in the starting lineup. He scored 7.8 points per game that month with 3.8 assists and 3.4 rebounds while scoring efficiently with a true shooting percentage of 54.1%.
Those numbers have taken an even bigger leap in January as White increased his scoring to 14.6 points per game with an insane true shooting percentage of 69%, and he’s continued to contribute in other categories as well with 3.7 assists and 4.1 rebounds per night.
White is also in the top ten amongst point guards in defensive real plus-minus, which has helped fill the tremendous void left by Dejounte Murray on that end of the floor.
It’s very possible that the Spurs would be outside of the playoff picture in the Western Conference if it wasn’t for this breakout year from their young point guard.
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Hopefully this is just the beginning for Derrick White as he continues to improve each time he hits the floor.
Check out who took home our other Midseason Awards: