San Antonio Spurs: Derrick White needs to find his shooting stroke

SAN ANTONIO, TX - APRIL 18: LaMarcus Aldridge (12) of the San Antonio Spurs pats the head of Derrick White (4) after he went off for a monster half against the Denver Nuggets during the second quarter on Thursday, April 18, 2019. The Denver Nuggets and the San Antonio Spurs faced off for game three of their first round NBA playoffs series at the At&T Center. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX - APRIL 18: LaMarcus Aldridge (12) of the San Antonio Spurs pats the head of Derrick White (4) after he went off for a monster half against the Denver Nuggets during the second quarter on Thursday, April 18, 2019. The Denver Nuggets and the San Antonio Spurs faced off for game three of their first round NBA playoffs series at the At&T Center. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
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The San Antonio Spurs have had a rough start to the preseason. The struggles of Derrick White have been particularly noticeable for San Antonio.

The San Antonio Spurs expect great things from Derrick White this year. After taking over the starting role midway the season White emerged as a strong two-way guard for San Antonio. And after a summer full of high-quality basketball, expectations were high for White in his third year.

As a team, the Spurs haven’t played up to their ability in their first two preseason contests. There have been bright spots, but overall the team has struggled. After two blow out losses to the Magic and Heat, San Antonio will have a chance to get right against the New Orleans Pelicans. Perhaps no player is in greater need of finding stability than White.

A few things could be contributing to White’s slow start. There’s a lot of new faces on the team and building chemistry and synergy is sure to take time. Gregg Popovich is still experimenting with lineups as well. All that being said, White hasn’t looked like the player he did last year. But it’s something that he’s clearly aware of and is sure to address.

The Pelicans will test the Spurs. Zion Williamson gets the headlines and delivers the highlights but he’s not the most dangerous part of this team. That has to be their guard depth. We’ve raved about the Spurs guard depth but it’s matched equally by New Orleans’s.

Led by Jrue Holiday and complimented by Lonzo Ball, the Pelicans guards are tough on both ends of the floor. White will have a hard time breaking his cold shooting streak against this bunch but he’ll have to keep at it.

Derrick White on his 1-of-13 shooting over the first two preseason games: “I’m missing layups. I’m missing open looks. So, if I keep getting there it will come. Just have to keep working and it will come back.” #Spurs

— Tom Orsborn (@tom_orsborn) October 12, 2019

San Antonio has a few more preseason games before the real action tips-off but they can’t afford for White to continue his cold-shooting ways much longer. The season is coming up quickly and the first few games are going to be tough for San Antonio.

The duo of Dejounte Murray and Derrick White can be special, but if White continues to struggle to score the ball then perhaps he should lead the second unit. White’s struggles have been sharply contrasted with the play of Bryn Forbes. With his strong preseason showing, Forbes has done a good job of showing why he should hold on to his starting job.

Maybe it’s just a matter of playing through this cold patch. White wasn’t a streaky player last year by any stretch but he’s going through it right now. Thankfully he’s got a few more inconsequential preseason games to find his groove.

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Next. San Antonio Spurs: 3 goals for LaMarcus Aldridge in 2019-20

Growth isn’t always linear but these struggles for White have come as a surprise. Hopefully, he can find his way again and be as impactful of a player as the Spurs believe he can be.

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