Derrick White has been a revelation for the San Antonio Spurs this season, especially on the defensive end. And he should be recognized as one of the league’s best defenders.
The San Antonio Spurs always knew they had a First Team All-Defense caliber starting point guard this year.
They simply thought it would be Dejounte Murray, not Derrick White.
After Murray tore his ACL in a preseason game against the Rockets, White was named the starting point guard after spending most of his rookie year in the G League.
After a heel injury caused White to miss the start of the year and struggle for a while when he did return to the floor, he has had a breakout season making the Spurs’ point guard rotation the deepest in basketball.
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White has excelled on the defensive end of the floor to go along with a promising offensive season.
He has the box score numbers to support his case of being First Team All-Defense with 1.1 blocks and 0.7 steals per game in just under 26 minutes. That extrapolates to 1.5 steals and 0.9 blocks per 36 minutes.
The advanced stats also prove that White is one of NBA’s premier defenders at the guard position.
The Spurs’ defensive rating is also 4.2 points worse when Derrick White is off the floor, and we saw that take effect when the second-year point guard missed most of the ugly Rodeo Road Trip.
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However, a strong push towards the postseason should vault White ahead of one or both of those players to claim a guard spot on the NBA’s First Team All-Defense.