The Boston Celtics needed Derrick White to step up in a big way in Game Two, filling in the void of Marcus Smart who was sidelined with a right quad contusion. On one hand, he produced well and did what was needed to get the job done. However, on the other hand, White struggled offensively when he had the opportunity to score and put points on the board for the Celtics.
Derrick White failed to score but was still a positive element for the Boston Celtics
During head coach Ime Udoka’s pregame press conference, he mentioned that losing Smart wasn’t as big of a deal as it could’ve been because they are able to rely on White who can provide essentially the same role as Smart on both ends of the court.
“That’s the benefit of Derrick, I think he does a lot of things well. Obviously it’s hard to make up for Marcus, specifically what he does for our team, but the scheme and coverage doesn’t change. It’s just Derrick is another big guard that we don’t lose a lot as far as size and versatility defensively. And then offensively, he’s very capable of scoring, running the plays and getting guys involved.” – Ime Udoka
White finished the game with four rebounds and five assists while playing 28 minutes. But here’s the kicker: HE DIDN’T SCORE ANY POINTS. White went 0-6 from the field and had five fouls in the game. His 3-point shooting has gotten worse as the playoffs have started, only connecting on 3-18 of his shots from deep-which equals out to a measly 16.6 percent after shooting just over 30 percent for the season.
Here’s what White said after the game:
“I have to be better about helping the guys and taking the pressure off them when I’m out there next game.”
The Celtics didn’t necessarily trade for White to be a scoring threat, so the fact he hasn’t scored much in the playoffs isn’t worrisome. However, anything is better than nothing. And if he expects to space the floor and “take pressure” off of his teammates, he’s going to have to start making some shots in Game Three.
What’s great about White is that he’s calm and cool on the court. Despite not scoring any points in this game, White didn’t play all that badly and finished with a team-high +22 for the Celtics. He played great defense and fought through screens while focusing on his close-outs on Jrue Holiday. In all, it doesn’t seem as if Boston’s defense missed a beat without Smart in the lineup.
The Boston Celtics will travel to Milwaukee for their next game on Saturday. With this extended stretch of time due to TV ratings, the Celtics are assuming Smart will become available during this five-day stretch of off days.
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Photo Credit: AP Photo/ Michael Dwyer