San Antonio just cannot catch a break.
This summer Tony Parker left for Charlotte, but that was okay because Dejounte Murray had taken the point guard job from him last season and made strides over the summer, he was ready to lead the team now. Then Murray tore his ACL and is out for the season. That made Derrick White the starting point guard, until…
Gregg Popovich announced Friday that White will be out with a heel injury, although it is worse than that, it’s a left plantar fascia tear (a rip of the connective tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot). This is a non-surgical injury. Popovich said that White would be out 6-8 weeks, which is when he may be able to return to the court, although it can often take up to 12 weeks to get back to pre-injury form.
This is the latest in a rash of injuries to hit the Spurs’ backcourt. From Jeff McDonald at the San Antonio Express-News.
Over the last three exhibition games, the Spurs have seen each of their past three first-round draft picks succumb to injury, all of them guards. First it was Lonnie Walker IV, who tore meniscus in his right knee in a win over Detroit on Oct. 5, then Murray and now White.
“That’s three of our youngest, most talented, fastest kids,” coach Gregg Popovich said after another short-handed shootaround Friday morning at Orlando’s Amway Center. “We’ll have to deal with it.”
However, this preseason the Spurs have largely run the offense through DeMar DeRozan when the starters have been out on the court, DeRozan likely will take on more of the load now.
Still, this is a more significant setback for the Spurs than some fans realize. Murray was second-team NBA All-Defense last season and the Spurs were high on the improvements to his offensive game, they thought he was ready to make a leap. White had shown a lot of promise in Summer League and was seen as more of a quality guy off the bench, but the Spurs have a way of making those guys stand out… and now he’s out. Forbes is more score first (as is Mills) and Popovich doesn’t have Manu Ginobili to fall back on to run the offense anymore.
This is a lot of setbacks for the Spurs. Is this the season the playoff streak (21 years and counting) ends?