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San Antonio Spurs: Derrick White Might Be The Best Defender in the NBA

San Antonio Spurs v Denver Nuggets
San Antonio Spurs v Denver Nuggets / Jamie Schwaberow/GettyImages
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San Antonio Spurs
Derrick White, De'Aaron Fox / Ronald Cortes/GettyImages

Derrick White Makes Shooting Hard

In order to win basketball games, you have to shoot and score more than your opponent. It’s really that simple. Derrick White approaches it a different way. Instead of shooting his own shots to allow his team to score, he makes it incredibly difficult for other players to score. It’s a simple concept that has eluded players like Carmelo Anthony and James Harden for years. 

Derrick White has contested 23 shots so far this season, placing him seventh among guards in the league. Interestingly enough, Danny Green is also in the top ten, so good for him! Anyway, much like steals, only two players (Pat Connaughton and Davion Mitchell) ranked ahead of him have played fewer minutes. 

On those contested shots, White averages a block a game, which isn’t bad but isn’t stellar either. Based on his improvement over recent years, this number may tick up slightly as the season goes on, especially if he keeps contesting shots at the rate he does. 

Derrick White is one of the Spurs’ primary scorers this season. He has taken 36 shots himself and has contested 23 shots. This ratio initially did not seem like a lot, but it’s absolutely insane.

Notable players ahead of him in regards to contests per game include Chris Duarte, Lonzo Ball, and Tyrese Maxey. Keeping in mind that Derrick White contests 63% of the number of shots he takes, let’s compare to those three players. Duarte has shot 52 times and contested 24 shots. Ball shot 35 times and contested 25, and Tyrese Maxey has taken 44 shots and contested 27. 

Between those three players, they contest 58% of the number of shots they take. White’s rate of 63% is not massively higher, but it’s still significant. Based on these comparisons, Derrick White plays a more complete game than his competition, which should be considered when the season ends.