Want to see the statistical representation of the sprouting of an NBA regular?
Check out the stat line on Derrick White.
The Parker native who starred in Colorado Springs at UCCS before transferring to CU for one season has begun to take off in his second NBA season.
White missed the first nine games of the season with a heel injury and through Thursday has appeared in 39 games.
Here’s the breakdown of his development in that time (with statistics courtesy of basketball-reference.com):
First 13 games: 5.6 ppg, .384 FG pct., .286 3-pt pct., 4.3 GmSc*
Next 13 games: 6.2 ppg, .417 FG pct., .227 3-pt pct., 5.4 GmSc
Last 13 games: 14.6 ppg, .621 FG pct., .485 3-pt pct., 13.6 GmSc
[*Score was created by John Hollinger a rough measure of a player's productivity for a single game. The scale is similar to that of points scored, (40 is an outstanding performance, 10 is an average performance, etc.).]
Even with the injury and slow start, White ranks fifth on the Spurts in starts (28), second in assists (143) and second in steals (39).
Here are the Spurs scoring leaders since Dec. 31:
24.0 - LaMarcus Aldridge
16.1 - DeMar DeRozan
15.7* - Rudy Gay
15.3 - Derrick White
14.0 - Marco Belinelli
12.1 - Bryn Forbes
11.3 - Patty Mills
*-Has missed six games in that span
What’s more, San Antonio is 16-8 since early December since starting the season 11-14 and as of now is tied with Utah for the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference.
The Spurs took White in the first round (29th pick) in the 2017 draft, so it seemed they’d likely give him every opportunity to succeed. But that didn’t happen during his rookie season, when he shuffled between the franchise’s D-League team and San Antonio and played in just 17 games for the Spurs without a start.
But now, as his numbers indicate, he’s not only starting and playing starters’ minutes, but he’s giving coach Gregg Popovich a high level of contribution.
It’s a far cry from the night of his NBA debut, when Popovich — an Air Force graduate — offered this jab to The Gazette when asked what White’s role might be.
“There’s a spot over on the bench that’s going to get polished by the seat of his pants,” Popovich said.