San Antonio Spurs guard Derrick White rode the highest of highs on Thursday night, having a career game to lead his team to a Game 3 victory over their first round series opponents, the Denver Nuggets.
Unfortunately, White could not follow up his virtuoso performance as he fell back down to Earth in San Antonio’s 117-103 Game 4 loss.
Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich spoke about White’s struggles in the game and said that it was a great learning experience for him.
“I think this is a great education for him, last game and this game. He was a completely different player tonight at both ends of the court. He’s a young, dedicated guy who’s gonna keep learning. In a way, this is a great experience for him because every player has to go through it. And he felt it tonight.” Popovich said in the postgame press conference.
Gregg Popovich on Derrick White's Game 4 performance: "I think this is a great education for him."#NBAPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/tK3056Hijy
— NBA TV (@NBATV) April 21, 2019
Derrick White was basically non-existent in Game 4 after a breakthrough performance in Game 3. Denver certainly did their homework on the no. 29 pick in the 2017 draft, as he finished with just eight points, four rebounds and five assists while shooting just 3-of-8 from the field. Moreover, he also had a game-worst minus-19 in 28 minutes of action.
Nevertheless, a dud like this shouldn’t discourage the 24-year-old standout from Colorado. Gregg Popovich made sure to keep White’s spirit up with his comments, which is probably his way to give his sophomore guard some motivation heading into a pivotal Game 5 on Tuesday.
White has shown throughout the series that he is a vital piece in San Antonio’s playoff run this year. However, it remains to be seen how he will respond when the lights shine brighter in Game 5.