The Derrick White Turnaround: A Theory on His Slow Start

So far in this season Derrick White is averaging 12.1 points, 3.4 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.2 steals, and 1 block per game on 39.4% shooting and 29.8% from 3. While his overall stats and usage are actually up, a point of concern for Spurs fans has been his scoring and shooting percentages, particularly because the Spurs are a team in desperate need of offense. However, if we look at the last few games, particularly our last two wins where Derrick has strung together some impressive numbers in Spurs wins, perhaps he's turning a corner.

The most obvious sign which we hope isn't a fluke is his last game where he scored 24 points on 47.6% shooting and went 3-7 from beyond the arc. Hopefully this means he's turning the corner.

I have a theory to propose here, more than perhaps the numbers, it just seems like an eye test sort of thing. Spurs have always had a sort of love-hate relationship with the refs (some fans would argue more hate than love) but a lot has been made of the rule changes and the way defenses can be more physical with ball-handlers. My thought is that Derrick, being a more cerebral player (more so than other players), has needed a little more time to adjust to some of these changes to make the most of it. This is not to say that the other players were not affected at all by the rule changes, I think everyone was, but my observation is that the nature of Derrick's game, perhaps the changes affected how he played more than others. Or maybe he's just adjusting to married life. I think on any given night, you can see the Spurs' and particularly Derrick's frustration and confusion over how the game is officiated, more so than previous seasons (maybe it's because DeMar isn't around to get mad anymore for no calls), but I think Derrick is slowly figuring out how to work around the defense. It's hard to break old habits and tendencies but I think once Derrick gets it, he will find his spots. Granted, some of it is just him missing shots, so hopefully he regresses towards his averages (44% FG% and 35% 3pt%).

We see how Derrick playing well makes us look like a much better team, and I'm hoping that the rough start is not a sign of things to come but just some growing pains as Derrick figures out the rule changes.

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