5 Celtics who are exceeding expectations, 2 underperforming at midway point of season

The Celtics are title contenders with these players performing unexpectedly.

Boston Celtics, Jayson Tatum, Jrue Holiday
Boston Celtics, Jayson Tatum, Jrue Holiday / Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
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Exceeding expectations: Derrick White

White made second-team All-Defense in 2023, but many thought he would take a step back after Boston added Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday in the offseason. There were more mouths to feed on offense, and Holiday is one of the best perimeter stoppers in the league.

Instead, White is having the best year of his career. He is averaging a career-high 15.9 points per game and playing 32.0 minutes per game. The 29-year-old is in the middle of his prime and putting up career-best numbers nearly across the board. White averages 1.1 steals and 1.1 blocks each night while shooting over 41 percent from 3-point range.

There was plenty of talk about White missing ESPN’s preseason top 100, and the 6’4 guard is proving the World Wide Leader in Sports wrong. He sits 22nd in the NBA and second on the Celtics in value over replacement player (VORP). He has been incredible on both ends of the floor and is still improving.

Derrick White upped his game in the playoffs last season and will look to do it again in 2024. He is a crucial piece for the Boston Celtics. The franchise needs his defense, playmaking, shooting, and scoring if they are going to hang banner number 18. Expect White to be up for the challenge.