Boston, MA – October 28, 2023
In a jaw-dropping twist, Derrick White is poised to lead the Boston Celtics onto the hardwood as their starting point guard for the upcoming 2023-2024 NBA season. This bombshell dropped after White’s electrifying performance during training camp and the preseason, leaving both Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla and his fellow players thoroughly impressed. This switch-up is a total game-changer from the Celtics’ age-old playbook of putting defensive whiz Marcus Smart at the point guard spot.
The Derrick White Saga: A Triumph of Grit
Derrick White’s journey to front and center of the Celtics’ lineup is a classic tale of sweat and victory. Picture this: he was drafted in the second round of the 2017 NBA Draft by the San Antonio Spurs, where he spent four seasons striving to secure a starting role. Then, boom, in February 2022, he’s traded to Boston and finds his new home. Now, he’s all set to play a pivotal role in the Celtics’ quest for that elusive NBA championship.
Exceeding Expectations: The Derrick White Show
Let’s rewind to the 2022-2023 season, where White was initially considered the backup to Marcus Smart. But he didn’t settle for that. His versatility, defensive wizardry, and top-notch playmaking skills earned him a starting role during the playoffs. In that postseason showdown, he averaged a jaw-dropping 14.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game, smashing expectations right out of the arena.
Preseason Powerhouse: Derrick White’s Encore
Fast forward to the 2023-2024 preseason, where White was on fire. Averaging 15.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game, he showcased his scoring finesse, an ironclad grip on those boards, and playmaking prowess that had the crowd on their feet. Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla didn’t hold back in his praise, calling White a “perfect fit” for the team’s system and highlighting his chameleon-like adaptability and defensive prowess.
Changing Up the Starting Lineup Game
Now, as we gear up for the regular season, White is all set to share the starting lineup with the likes of Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford, and Marcus Smart. It’s a total curveball from the past, where Smart usually owned the point guard spot. White’s offensive chops and his knack for both scoring and crafting opportunities for his teammates promise a more well-rounded offense that’s sure to keep the rival teams on their toes.
The Defensive Dynamo
But White isn’t just about offense; he’s a force to be reckoned with on the defensive front. In the 2022-2023 season, he boasted a defensive rating of 104.1, a league-beating feat (the league average was 110.4), showing that he’s like a fortress on the court. His assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.3, compared to the league average of 2.1, underscores his playmaking prowess.
Teammates Sing Praises
His fellow Celtics aren’t holding back on the compliments either, tagging him as a “smart” and “talented” player who brings an electrifying presence to the team.
The Contract Extension Buzz
It’s not just about his on-court heroics. White’s future with the Celtics is grabbing headlines as contract extension talks buzz around him this offseason. The Celtics are eager to keep their star player, and there’s even a chance they’ll ink the deal before the regular season tip-off.
The Countdown Begins
As the NBA season countdown begins, all eyes are on Derrick White as he steps up as the starting point guard for the Boston Celtics. His journey from an under-the-radar second-round draft pick to a linchpin in a championship-contending team is a story that’ll pull at your heartstrings. The Celtics’ bet on White isn’t just about the player; it’s a strategic move that could send shockwaves through the league on their path to that coveted NBA championship. Game on!