“Derrick White and the Celtics Secure Back-to-Back Wins Against the Heat: 9 Key Takeaways”

Derrick White

“Derrick White and the Celtics Secure Back-to-Back Wins Against the Heat: 9 Key Takeaways”

The Celtics weren’t perfect, but playing the Heat makes that difficult anyway.

The Celtics won their second-straight game to start the season, claiming a 119-111 victory over the Heat on Friday.

Here are the takeaways.
Watching Derrick White at his best is like watching a really well-made action movie: You get to both enjoy what you’re seeing and feel a little smarter about the things you noticed when it’s over. White plays a cerebral brand of basketball on both ends, finding spaces and angles that suit possessions nicely, but on Friday, he also made a couple of spectacular defensive plays and got so hot in the fourth quarter, he let out a scream after burying one heat check.

On the one hand, you want to analyze what White did because he’s a unique guard. On the other, sometimes it’s just fun to watch a really good basketball player make the right plays (and call his own number a little bit).

“The plays he made tonight were sick,” Joe Mazzulla told reporters after the game. “They were just sick plays.”

  1. While we are on the topic of White, he and Jrue Holiday combined for three chase-down blocks, denying the Heat transition dunks. We can’t prove this without the kind of tracking data that teams pay thousands of dollars to acquire, but it’s hard to imagine there have been many games in NBA history where the starting back-court recorded three chase downs.

Both of White’s came at the expense of Jimmy Butler, who had a difficult game (14 points, 3-for-11). The first came in the first half and was one of the cleanest blocks you could imagine.

The Holiday-White pairing allows the Celtics to do a lot of unique things defensively. On nights like Friday when White’s offense is at that level, it’s a monstrous tandem.

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