Spurs' Derrick White set to play vs. Heat

NBA.com Global on Nov 08, 2018 07:12 AM
Spurs' Derrick White set to play vs. Heat
Derrick White NBA file photo

NBA.com staff report

The Spurs' backcourt may be starting to get a tad bit healthier.

Guard Derrick White, who suffered a left plantar fascia tear in the preseason that has sidelined him since, is listed as probable for San Antonio's game today against the Miami Heat. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich told reporters that White will play off the bench tonight.

White was slated to start at point guard once the Spurs' expected starter for 2018-19, Dejounte Murray, was lost for the season with a torn ACL suffered in the preseason. While White could suit up tonight, other injuries will sap some of the Spurs' depth against the Heat, writes Tom Orsborne of the San Antonio Express-News:

Center Pau Gasol (sore right foot), forward Rudy Gay (sore right heel), rookie guard Lonnie Walker IV (right medial meniscus) and rookie center Drew Eubanks (G League assignment) are also listed as out.

Davis Bertans is the likely candidate to replace Gay in the starting lineup.

Popovich told reporters today that he has been happy with the work Bryn Forbes has done as the fill-in starter during White's absence, writes Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News.

"It worked out, because we needed it so far," Popovich said regarding Forbes' run as point guard. "We'll continue to probably need him in some way, shape or form at that position."

White is expected to ease his way back into NBA action, building minutes game by game. He has been playing 3-on-3 and simulated 5-on-5 games with the Spurs G League affiliate to get back into playing shape.

Forbes filled in solidly for the Spurs, averaging 12.7 points, 1.6 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 2.4 assists per game in 28.6 minutes per game. Veteran backup guard Patty Mills has also played well in an increased role, averaging 9.7 ppg while shooting 45.9 percent on three-pointers. If White does play, Forbes and Mills will still figure heavily into the Spurs' rotation.

Aside from losing Murray for the season, rookie guard Lonnie Walker IV has missed several weeks while recovering from a torn meniscus suffered during the team's scrimmage on Oct. 3 (Oct. 4, PHL time). Despite the injury issues, the Spurs are 6-3 and have won four of their last five games to claim an early lead in the Southwest Division.

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