It hasn't been the smoothest of preseasons for arguably the best player on the San Antonio Spurs. Although still showing his effective defense on a nightly basis in the first four preseason games, Derrick White's offense has been a different story.
Making just 11 of his 42 attempts, White has made just a little over one quarter of his shots (26.1%), with his last 2-for-11 (18.2%) night against the Orlando Magic being the worst of them all. From downtown, the fifth-year wing has made just three of 20 attempts, a lowly 15%.
In watching all four games, Derrick's shots have generally been fairly open, especially the ones from the outside. Still, despite being one of the best pure shooters on the Spurs, something has been off with his shot for what's now an extended period. White began the last preseason game missing his first eight shots before finally getting one to go.
White has been his usual engaged self on defense -- blocking shots and taking charges as usual -- so it's not a question of effort. From the looks of it, he's simply in a shooting slump that he hasn't been able to shake through four games.
Derrick White should see Friday's game as a personal challenge
I know the regular season is a different animal, but I'm hoping Derrick White can see Friday's preseason finale as a personal challenge. This young roster needs that one guy they can depend on to be consistent night in and night out, and he and Dejounte Murray fit the bill the most.
San Antonio's offense will likely not be near the top of the NBA given their lack of a true superstar, but if enough pieces take turns contributing around a reliable scorer, they shouldn't be half bad. White must continue to let it fly, particularly from downtown as he did last season. Against the Houston Rockets, nothing would be better for his personal momentum than to see some of those shots go down.
Once his outside shot gets going again, we should start to see the full repertoire of his game, complete with aggressive drives and spinning floaters in the lane. Until then, he'll likely have to work harder than he usually needs to for buckets.
It's time to set the tone for the season with a big game, Mr. White. San Antonio knows just what you're capable of.