It's safe to say the San Antonio Spurs need a career year from Derrick White. So far, they're not getting it. Following a nightmare 0-for-10 shooting night, the fifth-year guard was held scoreless in a 99-94 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
White was noticeably frustrated with a few non-calls on his drives, but beyond that, he wasn't getting to his usual spots at all in his 27 minutes. He also hasn't appeared to have the same bounce in his step he's had in the past. At 27 years old, I'm not sure why that's the case.
After averaging 15.4 points per game last season in a supporting role, White is scoring just 12.3 points per game on career-low shooting numbers from the outside and from the field overall. The extended slump hasn't gone unnoticed, and Sunday's lackluster performance drew some comments from Coach Popovich.
"Derrick is having a tough time right now in a lot of ways," said Popovich. "We need him to be a good player every night. That's just a fact. It's pretty easy to see."
Dejounte Murray's father expresses frustration on Twitter
White was expected to be part of a dynamic one-two backcourt punch with Dejounte Murray this season. Through 10 games, it's been the Murray show with some supporting cast help now and then. During Sunday night's game, Murray's father wasn't holding back on Twitter.
"White gotta step up and get some damn buckets," he said as the game went on.
By the time the Spurs blew yet another big lead, Murray's words grew harsher. "26 minutes, 0 points. Then a bunch of mistakes from the team = LOSS," he tweeted.
He later liked a reply saying "own him, sir" from this tweet. Mr. Murray tends to wear his emotions on his sleeves during games, and it's hard to blame him for being frustrated at yet another close loss that was winnable. Calling out one of Dejounte's teammates isn't a good look in my opinion, but hey, he obviously has a right to express himself as he sees fit.
Mr. Murray and Coach Popovich are right about one thing: Derrick White needs to start stepping up if he's going to live up to the investment the Spurs made with him. As one of the team's most talented players, it's time for him to start showing that offensively.