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San Antonio Spurs: Derrick White should make First Team All-Defense

DALLAS, TX - MARCH 12: Derrick White #4 of the San Antonio Spurs and Devin Harris #34 of the Dallas Mavericks talk during the game on March 12, 2019 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - MARCH 12: Derrick White #4 of the San Antonio Spurs and Devin Harris #34 of the Dallas Mavericks talk during the game on March 12, 2019 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)
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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 former Colorado Buffalo ranks second in defensive real plus-minus ahead of players like Patrick Beverley and Chris Paul who both have multiple appearances on the All-Defensive team.

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.

Former Spur Danny Green has a great case to be First Team All-Defense as well along with Marcus Smart, who is the only point guard to rank ahead of White in defensive real plus-minus.

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Examining the emergence of Derrick White. Next

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.

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