Spurs’ Derrick White dunks all over Paul Millsap
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.
DERRICK. WHITE. pic.twitter.com/uxgWkeoOvX
— Dime (@DimeUPROXX) April 14, 2019
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.