With their tremendous efforts on Monday night, the Boston Celtics managed to even this best-of-seven series against the Milwaukee Bucks at two games apiece, and, while the bulk of attention has been geared towards Al Horford and his career 30-point performance, lost in the hoopla has been the highly underrated play that was put forth by guard, Derrick White.
While for the most part the 28-year-old has struggled to find his rhythm, averaging just 5.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 2.3 assists on 28.6 percent shooting from the floor and 16.7 percent shooting from deep during the team’s first six postseason games, his last two performances have been quite impactful, with Game 4 serving as arguably his best showing of this year’s run.
Seeing 34:18 minutes of action, White posted 11 points, four boards, three assists, and a block on 67 percent shooting from the floor whilst finishing with the second-highest plus-minus rating on the night.
His biggest impact, however, came outside of the counting stats department, as his defensive versatility and IQ were on full display during the outing, as he held the Bucks to an abysmal 0-for-12 shooting when serving as a primary defender and stood his ground when working against the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Derrick White.
These last two pivotal games in Milwaukee, the fifth-year veteran has totaled 25 points and six rebounds and has shot 58 percent from the field and 50 percent from deep while also sporting plus-minus ratings of +9 and +18 along the way.
In their must-win bout on Monday, he came up in a major way off the pine for the Boston Celtics and reminded us all why it was not a coincidence that the team went 20-6 from the moment he suited up for the ball club through the end of the regular season.
Now, heading back to Boston for Game 5, the C’s will once again need his two-way play to shine on through in order to give Ime Udoka‘s squad better odds of pulling ahead in the series.
Hopefully these last two performances are a sign that Derrick White’s finally turned the corner.