December 6, 2023


“It seems hella scrappy in particular person,” Celtics icon Paul Pierce stated of the play of Derrick White and Jrue Vacation.

Derrick White and Jrue Vacation have made it powerful for opposing guards to attain on them to this point this season. (AP Photograph/John Munson)

The offensive prowess of the new-look Celtics was on full show of their 155-104 win over the Pacers on Wednesday. However there’s one factor that’s stood out essentially the most to Celtics icons Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett amidst the workforce’s 4-0 begin.

Each Corridor of Famers have been impressed by the defensive play of the Celtics’ backcourt, led by Derrick White and Jrue Vacation. Within the newest version of “KG Licensed,” Garnett was interested in how the duo regarded defensively in particular person after Pierce attended the workforce’s win over the Warmth of their dwelling opener.

There was a trait that stood out to Pierce about White and Vacation, saying that the Celtics’ guards “by no means cease enjoying basketball.”

“Once they’re on the court docket, they play each possession like,” Pierce defined. “They’re going for offensive rebounds, they’re [playing defense], they’re slicing, they’re setting screens, they usually’re going for steals. They by no means cease enjoying the sport. Like, your star may go over right here and wait on the ball or don’t go for the offensive rebounds. They play each a part of the sport you may play.”

When Garnett stated that the playoff White and Vacation “seems scrappy on TV,” Pierce didn’t disagree, explaining in additional element what the guard duo does so nicely.

“It seems hella scrappy in particular person,” Pierce stated. “It’s like, rattling, subsequent factor you already know Vacation is arising with an offensive rebound or White comes up with an enormous offensive rebound, or [one of them] hit an enormous 3 or got here up with an enormous cease on the finish. It regarded loopy.”

Within the recreation Pierce attended, each White and Vacation made a number of key performs down the stretch to assist the Celtics draw back with a 119-111 win over the Warmth. White scored 14 of his game-high 28 factors within the fourth quarter whereas Vacation recorded a pair of defensive rebounds and assists within the last minutes.

Each gamers have additionally adopted their All-Defensive workforce picks from final season with robust play on that facet of the court docket by means of the primary 4 video games. White has 5 steals and 5 blocks with a 100.4 defensive score to this point this season. Vacation solely has one steal by means of the primary 4 video games, however has seven blocks and a 103 defensive score to this point this yr.

That led Pierce to make a fairly large proclamation about White and Vacation as he in contrast them to a different duo.

“This is likely to be the perfect defensive duo,” Pierce stated. “You understand who it jogs my memory of? It reminds of when it was [Rajon] Rondo and Jrue Vacation, once they have been in New Orleans they usually performed Portland they usually was D’ing [Damian Lillard] and [CJ] McCollum up. It regarded like that.

“I used to be wanting on the Celtics, they have been selecting up full court docket. They acquired Payton Pritchard selecting up. They may very well be scary good, as a result of when everyone buys into that facet of the ball, that modifications all the pieces within the tradition. It seems like they’re actually shopping for into that facet, and that’s what actually brings your workforce collectively, the protection.”

Pierce and Garnett in contrast the defensive depth set by White and Vacation on this Celtics workforce to the defensive depth they’d collectively throughout their six seasons with the Celtics, once they persistently had one of many league’s finest defenses.

Garnett shared some concern that this Celtics group is likely to be flying a bit too beneath the radar.

“You understand what I’m fearful about with them? You understand what I like in regards to the C’s too, they’re within the narrative, however they’re not like – you don’t hear them.”

Pierce agreed, however he additionally thinks the Celtics can go up one other stage, too.

“I believe they acquired one other button,” Pierce stated. “I believe they’ll press that button.”

The Celtics gained’t have one-half of their beginning backcourt once they tackle the Nets on Saturday. White will miss Saturday’s recreation because of a private motive.