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Spurs’ Derrick White dunks all over Paul Millsap

Derrick White

Derrick White isn’t exactly a household name to casual basketball fans. The San Antonio Spurs guard appeared in just 17 games as a rookie last year after being selected with a late first-round pick, and has toiled in relative anonymity league-wide this season despite emerging as a two-way cog on the perimeter for Gregg Popovich.

After this absolutely nasty poster dunk over Paul Millsap during Game 1 of his team’s first-round series against Denver Nuggets, though, it’s safe to say White will be far better known among league followers than he was previously.

Yeesh.

White averaged 9.9 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 1.0 steals in just 25.8 minutes per game this season. Projected as a backup combo guard coming into 2018-19, he was instead pressed into action as the Spurs’ starting point guard due to the season-long absence of DeJounte Murray, who suffered a torn ACL in training camp.

His counting numbers, while solid, hardly convey the impact White makes for San Antonio on both sides of the ball. He shot a stellar 52.9 percent on twos during the regular season, buoyed by elite shooting from mid-range. His biggest influence comes on defense, though, where White routinely checks the opposition’s top ball handler and finished second to Chris Paul among point guards in defensive real plus-minus. If the 24-year-old doesn’t make All-Defense this season, he’ll certainly be among those receiving votes.

White and the Spurs lead the Nuggets in the fourth quarter.