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

Jonah Kubicek
San Antonio Spurs v Denver Nuggets
San Antonio Spurs v Denver Nuggets / Jamie Schwaberow/GettyImages
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Derrick White, Trae Young
Atlanta Hawks v San Antonio Spurs / Ronald Cortes/GettyImages

Derrick White Sacrifices

There’s no math involved here. Derrick White leads the entire league in charges drawn per game (1.33) and total charges (4).

Anyone with long arms can block a shot every now and then and anyone with quick reflexes can deflect a pass to get a steal. The average NBA player weighs 220 pounds, 30 more than Derrick White, and he has drawn twice as many charges than anyone else in the league.

This poses an interesting question. If you have the ball in your hands and Derrick White is staring you down, what can you do? If you try and shoot over him, he’ll get in your face at a higher rate than almost anyone. If you try and dance around the arc to create space, or pass the ball away, he can poke it free for his eighth steal on the season. Maybe you’re bigger and stronger than him and want to just drive to the basket. Well, he’ll get in the way and draw an offensive foul, even though you’re bigger than him. 

My solution would be to just keep the ball away from him, it’s too risky. But then you also have to keep the ball away from Dejounte Murray, he’s just as dangerous. Okay, I guess you could take the ball down low, but then you’re met with Jakob Poeltl. The San Antonio Spurs can ride their defense to the point that the only option is to take bad shots. 

Maybe teams get hot and score, but most likely they won’t. The Spurs have a stifling defense, and perhaps the best defender on the team is the hardworking and physically sacrificing Derrick White, who is having one of the hardest hustling seasons out of all NBA players.

Next. Examining potential DeAndre Ayton trades. dark

If Derrick White keeps up all the work he’s done in the first three games there is absolutely no reason he shouldn’t be All-Defense. It would be the biggest snub in recent memory and would send San Antonio into a frenzy. The path is clear, now White just needs to keep up the hard work. 

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