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'Shoot it again' | Lonnie Walker IV encourages Derrick White to push through early shooting slump

"Derrick is one of the main focal points on this team and even if he is 0-10, he should shoot 10 more shots," Lonnie Walker IV said.

SAN ANTONIO — To say San Antonio Spurs guard Derrick White is in a bad shooting slump would be an understatement. 

Against the Thunder Sunday night, White had a dreadful game he'd want to forget going 0-10 from the field including 0-4 from the three-point line in 27 minutes.

A shooting night like that may make White dwell on his rough patch but his teammate, Lonnie Walker IV, wants him to just keep shooting.

"Derrick is one of the main focal points on this team and even if he is 0-10, he should shoot 10 more shots," Walker said following the team's 99-94 loss to the Thunder.

Credit: AP
San Antonio Spurs guard Derrick White (4) is fouled from behind by Indiana Pacers guard Caris LeVert (22) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Monday, Nov. 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

White's shooting woes began before the recent Thunder game.

He went 4-14 against the Magic on the road on Nov. 5 and 4-10 versus the Pacers in Indiana on Nov. 1. 

There was a better shooting performance from the Spurs guard against Dallas on Nov. 3 where he went 6-10 but his struggles from the perimeter are noticeable.

"I do feel for him," Walker said. "We trust and believe in you. Keep shooting with confidence and don't let it distract you on the defensive end."

White remains a presence on the defensive end despite his shooting struggles.

He ranks in the 93rd percentile among NBA point guards in blocks according to Cleaning The Glass and leads the league in charges drawn.

However, through 10 games, White is shooting a career-low 38-percent from the field. He's also struggling through his career-worst shooting from the three-point line at 32-percent. 

Credit: NBA

In addition, according to Cleaning The Glass, among NBA point guards, he ranks in the 7th percentile in shooting from the mid-range at 16-percent, and in the 26th percentile in effective field-goal shooting at 46-percent.

With that in mind, Walker is hoping White will forget all that before the team's next game versus the Kings Wednesday night at the AT&T Center and regain his shooting touch.

"I think that something that he has to have; just that amnesia," Walker said. "Miss it then forget all about it. Go to the next one. If you're open again, shoot it again." 

The good news is that his team is there for him and notes his importance.

"Derrick is having a tough time right now in a lot of ways," head coach Gregg Popovich said after the Thunder loss. "We need him to be a good player every night."

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Keeping things in perspective, the Spurs' season is just in its infancy and there are plenty of games ahead for White to shake out of his shooting funk.

The numbers show he is hoisting them at 11.3 attempts so far this season, and the law of averages will likely swing his way and the ball will find the bottom of the basket.

But until then his shots start to fall again, Walker wants White to know no one will be mad if he keeps shooting.

"Ain't nobody is going to be mad at you because we know what you are capable of doing is very important for this team," Walker said.

Twitter: @KENS5, @JeffGSpursKENS5

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