San Antonio Spurs: Derrick White’s recent slump is actually encouraging
By Andrew Ites
After a hot winter, Derrick White has cooled off considerably, but he’s been able to find other ways to help the San Antonio Spurs win games.
Second-year San Antonio Spurs point guard Derrick White has been the most interesting player on the team this season.
We usually know what we’re gonna get from LaMarcus Aldridge, DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, and the rest of the Spurs’ veterans, but White has been on quite the roller coaster this year.
After Dejounte Murray went down with a torn ACL in the preseason, White was expected to become the starting point guard before he suffered a preseason injury of his own that kept him out for the first few weeks of the year.
After getting acclimated to the NBA game during the months of November and December, the former Colorado Buffalo exploded in January and officially seized the starting job.
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White scored 15.3 points per game with 4.2 rebounds and 3.9 assists during the month of January, and he’s been one of the best point guard defenders in the league ranking in the top three at the position in defensive real plus-minus.
That hot streak caused us to write about how the Spurs will have the deepest point guard rotation in the NBA when Dejounte Murray comes back and why Derrick White could transform into a lesser version of Tony Parker if he was given the keys to run the offense.
However, we probably should’ve seen some regression coming from White because he shot an unsustainable 47.1% from three during that breakout month of January.
Since then, the former 29th overall pick has shot just 25.5% from downtown and his scoring numbers have taken a dip since that hot stretch in January.
Fortunately, White has continued to defend at an extremely high level and he’s become a better distributor while his shot has been struggling averaging 5.1 assists in March, which is his career-high for a single month.
The truth lies somewhere in between for White because he’s probably going to shoot in the mid-to-low 30’s from downtown in his career, but we will probably continue to see some variance in his production while he grows as a player.
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The Spurs have continued to win without getting a ton of scoring production from their starting point guard, and White has figured out how to contribute in different ways when his shot isn’t falling.
While this slump may temper our expectations for White’s future with San Antonio, it’s encouraging to see his development in other areas of the game while he suffers from some inconsistency from deep.