On this episode, we have the triumphant return of our fearful leader Ben, who missed a few episodes last week “being a dad” (what a loser). Jake and I joined him to discuss the Cs’ win in Detroit, some buyout candidates, and what teams we will be watching closely at the trade deadline --we are all terrified of Milwaukee getting a good wing.
On the win in Detroit, while Jayson Tatum stole the headlines with an impressive (but also not totally impressive because he’s incredibly good) 34-11-6, we focused on Jake’s favorite player, Derrick “The Mistress” White. There’s a running joke on the pod that Jake is threatening to run away from his fiancée and spend the rest of his life with Derrick White where he will spend countless hours studying his one-of-a-kind hairline. In other words, he’s a big fan of Derrick and his game, with good reason.
Brad said heading into the trade deadline last year that he was looking for players that complement the Jays. Well, Derrick is the living embodiment of a random person telling you that “you look great today." The stats don’t lie; other than Rob Williams, nobody has as positive an impact on the Jays than DWhite, and Rob is an “alien posing as human” level athletic freak. Pretty good company.
Tatum and Brown's 2-man lineups that have played over 200 minutes. Feel like they're telling us something about Rob Will and White pic.twitter.com/8D6UYctmyo— Wayne Spooney (@WSpooney) February 7, 2023
The beauty of Derrick White is definitely not his hairline, but it is his malleability in role and skillset. You need him to be a connector on offense that mainly takes open 3s and drives closeouts? Sure, he can absolutely do that. You need him to harass a primary ballhandler for 90 feet? Switch onto a wing? Tag a roller until help can get there? Done. Done. Done. You need him to drop 23-7-7 while you’re missing your starting point guard and missing your second-best player? No problem.
White’s varied offensive skillset was on full display last night. Making perfect cuts before the defense could get set, or when Tatum drew help.
White was a safety net for Tatum when the Pistons started throwing double teams at him in the 4th quarter, and White hit perhaps the biggest shot of the game out of that action.
His snap decision making and above average ball skills were really shined with him taking the offensive reins with Smart and Brown out. This no dribble lob to Rob being one of my personal favorite passes of the night (and maybe the season). Perfect recognition and zero hesitation.
Derrick White is the embodiment of Celtics basketball. He plays hard, he plays smart, and he’s willing to fill just about any role asked of him, without question. As we approach the one-year anniversary of DWhite joining the Cs, it sure feels like he’s been a Celtic for much longer than that.
I really hope you enjoy this episode; we had a lot of fun recording it. We appreciate all the support from everyone and thanks for listening. Please sub to the First to the Floor YouTube channel as well as the CelticsBlog podcast feed.