Derrick White Deserves His Flowers

Brad Stevens and the front office have preached surrounding “the jays” Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown with talent that maximizes their skillset and works well around them.

The goal, to build the best team possible around the building blocks that are the Jays is off to a great start, as Brad has made good on his word since the day he got the job as General Manager. 

A team filled with depth and players that can both, get their own and create for others, as well as play on ball and off ball to allow them to play minutes alongside and without the Jays.

Surrounding the Jays with shooters like Malcolm Brogdon 45.2%, Sam Hauser 41.7%, Payton Pritchard 35.4%, Mike Muscala 40% and others gives the Jays space to work in the iso, limits the double teams and gives them outlets.

One guy who was brought in last year at the deadline that doesn’t get as much praise as he should is Derrick White.

Derrick White

Due to injuries, White has started 49 games, mainly at shooting guard this year, but when fully healthy projectes to be the backup point guard.

Derrick has put together a good campaign so far, while playing both sides of the ball and excelling in his role. On the season averaging 11.5 points 3.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists on 46/39/86 shooting splits.

As just a 34% shooter coming in, White understood his role and worked in the off-season to improve his shot, to get the jump to 39% so far this season.

The praise for Derrick needs to be loud and clear right now though, this because of his play in the last 10 games without starting point guard Marcus Smart. 

In the 10 games White has been asked to run the starting point guard role he has averaged 19.4 points 4.9 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game. 

He also put together back to back double doubles in the last two games against Charlotte and Memphis.

After an incredible start to the season, the Celtics could’ve hit a hard stretch and struggled with Marcus Smart, and others missing games leading into the all star break, but Derrick White stepped up and has played the best basketball of his career, even winning player of the week.

White is also getting it done on the defensive end, all season long with 53 blocks, the second most among guards this season.

Brad Stevens and Buy-in

Derrick White, especially, during this stretch is a perfect example of how good this roster truly is, both with pure talent and chemistry. Derrick welcoming a bench role while being able to average these numbers when given the opportunity, is also a perfect example of the buy-in from this team. 

To have a guy who comes off the bench when fully healthy, be able to step into a starting role and win player of the week on your roster, willingly accept his role as a bench player that is here to help the stars instead of being a star is hard to do and special to have.

Derrick isn’t the only one, Malcolm Brogdon is another guy who has been a consistent starter in his career that has accepted a bench role. As well as those two, Blake Griffin, who is a multi time all star, and for the majority of his career “the guy” on his teams has come in and taken DNPs but still stays ready for when his name is called. 

To be able to get the buy-in from guys this talented is special and is the reason this team has championship aspirations.

There’s a long way to go to accomplish what the team set out to accomplish this year, but approaching the all star break, guys like Derrick White, Al Horford, and Brad Stevens need their flowers for how good this turnaround has been since the 4-1 gentlemen sweep to the Nets in the 2020-21 season.

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