Preview: Spurs Face Clippers With Derrick White Out Again

The San Antonio Spurs have a four-game losing streak and tonight take on the talented Los Angeles Clippers — and that’s not even the worst news for South Texas’ professional basketball team. The Spurs have lost Derrick White, who signed a big contract extension prior to the season, for an indefinite period of time. White suffered a toe fracture in his first game of the season in the loss against the Utah Jazz.

The Spurs (2-4) began their season with two straight wins before things took a turn for the worse. The Clippers (5-2) already have a number of impressive wins under their belt this season, including victories versus the Los Angeles Lakers, Denver Nuggets, Portland Trail Blazers and Phoenix Suns.

Derrick White Injury Update

In the offseason, White underwent toe surgery on the second toe on his left foot. In the game against the Jazz, White fractured the same toe. Even though the injury is to the same toe, the medical staff says the injuries aren’t related.

While the Spurs haven’t put a timetable on White’s return, expect the franchise to be cautious. They have a lot invested in White and they don’t want to risk him further injuring his troublesome toe. 

In terms of the rotation, White being out likely means that rookie Devin Vassell will keep getting minutes on a night in, night out basis.

Kawhi Leonard Update

When the Spurs face the Clippers, all eyes will always be on Kawhi Leonard. The former Spurs superstar is having another strong season. The 29-year-old is averaging 22.0 points, 6.4 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.2 blocks in 33.6 minutes per game. That said, Leonard’s shooting percentages are lower than usual (40.2% from the floor, 33.3% from three-point range) so far this season. Hopefully he doesn’t improve those percentages tonight against the Spurs.

Leonard missed two games this season after getting elbowed in the face on Christmas. The elbow, courtesy of teammate Serge Ibaka, left him bloodied.

San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineup

LaMarcus Aldridge is questionable once again. He’s been questionable prior to each of the last three games and ended up sitting out each contest. If he misses tonight’s game, expect the Spurs to start Dejounte Murray, Lonnie Walker IV, DeMar DeRozan, Keldon Johnson and Jakob Poeltl. If Aldridge is able to return, he’d take Poeltl’s spot in the starting lineup.

Los Angeles Clippers Starting Lineup

When Leonard has played, the Clippers have used the same starting lineup in each game: Leonard along with Paul George, Patrick Beverely, Serge Ibaka and Nicolas Batum. Ibaka and Batum were free agent signings — Ibaka last played with the Toronto Raptors, while Batum was last with the Charlotte Hornets.

Spurs at Clippers: How the Spurs Win

The Clippers have a big, powerful starting lineup, while the starting five for the Spurs is smaller and more finesse. To thrive, San Antonio will need to rebound well and find ways to score in the paint.