White: a Popovich warrior who was 1.78 at 18

Decisive in the start of the playoffs against the Nuggets, he has become a vital player in some Spurs in need of good news.

First match. After two free throws by LaMarcus Aldridge, with 96-99, the Nuggets had less than seven seconds to avoid a defeat that had been chewed in the Rockies since the first quarter. Before, in fact, that the game started: on his return to the playoffs after six years he was accompanied by agoreros who painted the Malone team as a great Regular Season team ... with the danger of an upset in the playoffs. last play, the occasion for the Nuggets to change the end of a match that seemed anything but a duel between a second and a seventh of a conference, Derrick White stole the ball from Jamal Murray, who had spent a night of dogs and not He could not mount a last attack. White closed the game in the free throw line and the Spurs recovered the court factor after having been one of the worst teams of all the playoffs classified at home and against the best local (34-7) from coast to coast. the NBA. White finished with 16 points and 5 assists, and for many minutes he formed with Bryn Forbes a backcourt that influenced the result more than the DeMar couple DeRozan-LaMarcus Aldridge.

If someone thought that White's fashion ended here, he was wrong. In the third match of the tie, with a draw in it, White managed to surpass himself: ¡36 points! Again doing a good tandem with DeRozan, taking out Murray's point, the small outside of the Spurs continues to leave a mark on these playoffs.

It is the things of Gregg Popovich, the most difficult still in a year in which in the outer positions he was left without Tony Parker, Danny Green, Manu Ginobili ... and Dejounte Murray, out of a year in which he They expected great things from him because of a knee injury in the preseason. The Spurs stayed with Patty Mills and Marco Belinelli, two champions in the 2014 team but actually two guards in their thirties, little inclined to defend and essentially valid as specialists.

From there to April, a another year with the Spurs in playoffs and one of the best jobs, and it's a lot to say, Gregg Popovich as coach: has seldom done so much with so little. Derrick White is one of the resources he has found in that franchise culture that values especially training and the development of players who almost never arrive (which is what happens when you always win a lot) from optimal positions in the draft. In fact, it took several small miracles for White to have finished, in April 2019, being decisive in an NBA playoff game, precisely in Denver, in whose metropolitan area he was born, grew up and played basketball until he became professional (number 29 of the 2017 draft) .

White is 24 years old and measures 1.93. It is not a second-year player to use (now many are around the twenties) and it was not when he finished his high school years not even one of the 150 best players in the country for the highly respected opinion of Rivals. Nobody offered him a four-year scholarship to play because, among other things, he was 1.78 before turning 18. Only Jeff Culver, who trained Johnson & Wales, a university program known for his cooking studies, was interested in him. The signing of Culver for the Mountain Lions of UCCS (Colorado-Colorado Springs) opened the doors of the Second Division of the NCAA a to a White to whom the doctors predicted a late growth similar to the one that his father had experienced. This came earlier than expected, and already close to its current 1.93, triumphed in UCCS and made the jump to the Buffaloes of Colorado where, after not playing a year to adapt to university regulations in cases of equipment change , averaged more than 18 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists and was part of the Defensive Quintet of the Pac-12.

Su first year in the Spurs spent learning, receiving more minutes than affection from Popovich and alternating the G-League with the Spurs (17 games). For the second the key name in the franchise was Murray, and White did not seem a strategic piece, diminished by a fascitis in preseason and discreet in the first two months of the course. The key game for him was, again, against the Nuggets of his Colorado: December 28 was decisive in the triumph of the Spurs and from there he started, up until the All Star break and later confirmed as a basic piece of a team that refused to fall out of the playoffs and ended up finding ways to defend (at least in San Antonio, not so much at home) even with a team with, theoretically, few specialists. One is White.

Finally casi 10 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists on average, 53 games as a starter and fame as an excellent defender and a player who makes his team better whenever he is on the court. That is: another prduct brand of the factory house Popovich.

Photos from as.com

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