In a season in which there aren’t an over-abundance of things to cheer about as a San Antonio Spurs fan, it helps having a look at how some former Spurs are doing around the league. And the first guy I’m looking for when it comes to that is Derrick White, who became my favorite Spurs player in only his second year in San Antonio.
Derrick is now in his third season as a Celtic – and he’s playing the best basketball of his career. His box score stats are, across the board, the best he has ever had: He’s averaging 16.5 points per game, 5.1 assists per game, 4 rebounds per game, 1.3 steals per game and a staggering 1.2 blocks per game. Remember, we’re talking about a 6’4 guard! He’s taking 6.5 threes per game, and he’s making them at an elite 42.9 percent clip.
Maybe even more impressive is his play-py-play data. According to basketball-reference.com, the Celtics are outscoring their opponents by 13.9 points per 100 possessions with Derrick on the floor, with Derricks’ on-off plusminus per 100 possessions also are an impressive plus 11.7 points. Both figures are team-best among all Celtics who get regular rotation minutes. Considering the quality of Derrick’s running mates in the starting five – Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kristaps Prozingis, and Jrue Holiday – that’s a mightily impressive feat.
If the league awarded a “most valuable role player of the year” award, I guess Derrick would be the frontrunner to win it. Because as a role player, he’s quite simply a superstar. And when the Celtics’ regular superstar is out, as Tatum was in the Wednesday’s blowout road win of the Kings, it’s Derrick who jumps a in with a true superstar performance – 28 points, 7 assists, 3 blocks, 2 boards, and a steal.
Welcome to the daily Open Thread. What are your thoughts on Derrick? Is there another ex-Spur you enjoy keeping tabs on?