March 4, 2024

Celtics

“His teammates are empowering him, he is taking part in with a whole lot of confidence.”

Derrick White has performed a key function in Boston’s 21-6 begin this season. (AP Photograph/Randall Benton)

The 2023-24 Celtics don’t have any scarcity of star energy on their roster.

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have established themselves as two of the premier gamers within the NBA, with the duo each incomes All-NBA honors in 2022-23.

Jrue Vacation earned his second All-Star nod final season. Kristaps Porzingis was an All-Star in 2018, with the 7-foot-2 ahead/heart serving as a difference-maker on each ends of the courtroom in his first season with Boston.

However may the fifth participant in Boston’s beginning rotation earn All-Star recognition this season?

After the Celtics simply bested the Kings, 144-119, on Wednesday evening, Joe Mazzulla vouched for Derrick White and his rising inventory as probably the most of impactful guards within the league.

“He’s an All-Star,” Mazzulla stated, per video offered by CLNS Media. “(He’s taking part in with) freedom, confidence, and empowerment from his teammates. A whole lot of the occasions once we need to settle the crew down and we need to get to essentially good execution, we go to Derrick White decide and rolls.

“His teammates are empowering him, he’s taking part in with a whole lot of confidence,” Mazzulla added. “And it’s one of many the explanation why we really feel so snug with him on the level, is due to what he can do.”

White might not be the flashiest participant on the courtroom most nights, particularly on a crew with superstars commanding the highlight like Tatum. However the 29-year-old guard’s well-rounded skillset has performed an instrumental function in Boston’s 21-6 report.

Since getting snubbed from ESPN’s Prime 100 rankings earlier than the beginning of the 2023-24 season, White has put collectively the most effective season of his profession. 

After taking the reins of Boston’s beginning point-guard place following the offseason commerce of Marcus Sensible, White is averaging 16.5 factors, 5.1 assists, 4.0 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 1.2 blocks per sport by way of his first 24 appearances this 12 months.

A 2022-23 All-Defensive choice, White has made strides as a sharpshooting risk for Boston this season.

He’s already tied his career-high for factors in a single sport (30) twice this month, and added 28 factors (together with a 6-of-9 displaying from the 3-point line) within the Celtics’ highway win in Sacramento on Wednesday.

After all, White’s path to an All-Star nomination shall be an uphill climb. Past the truth that his baseline stats could not leap off the web page, he’ll additionally must leapfrog different guards within the East equivalent to Damian Lillard, Donovan Mitchell, Trae Younger, Jalen Brunson, and Tyrese Haliburton.

Talking postgame on Wednesday, White downplayed his personal particular person efficiency in Boston’s spectacular win.

“I imply he’s my coach, that’s what he’s purported to say, proper?” White stated of Mazzulla’s feedback, as famous by MassLive’s Souichi Terada. “I’m simply attempting to win video games. That’s what I’m specializing in proper now. Simply do no matter I can to assist us win.”