Shaquille O'Neal believes Boston Celtics near-star is key to Banner 18

Shaq goes into what it takes for the Celtics to move through the NBA Playoffs and ultimately win the coveted Larry O'Brien trophy.
Shaq gives input on a key piece of the Celtics road to victory.
Shaq gives input on a key piece of the Celtics road to victory. / Allen Berezovsky/GettyImages

The Boston Celtics triumphed over the Cavaliers in Game 1 in a one-sided 120-95 final on May 7. After the game concluded, Shaq shared his thoughts about what's needed for the guys in green to win it all in 2024 -- and a certain Cs near-star who's been having big games in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals and Semifinals is who "Diesel" believes will need to continue stepping up for Banner 18 to come down from the TD Garden rafters.

"You talk about who's going to win a championship. If (Derrick White) can play like this with or without Porzingis, Boston will win a championship," Shaq said (h/t AthlonSports). "In order for Boston to win, White is going to have to play well."

The praise Derrick White is receiving from one of the NBA's greats should be enough to say that it's a pretty big deal, to say the least.

White does not receive enough credit, as it could be argued that he is hiding in the shadows of his two all-star teammates, Tatum and Brown. That's okay; it's understandable because those guys are ballers, but "The Buffalo" is, too.

Kristaps Porzingis the other key element of Boston Celtics' title hopes

Celtics star center Kristaps Porzingis is on the road to recovery after suffering a soleus injury, but it's expected that the three-point shooting big man is not too far out from making a return.

Porzingis is just as important to the Cs winning it all as White, and both are arguably as important as the Jays.

The first game of the Eastern Conference Semifinals was led by Brown's astonishing performance of 32 points, six rebounds, and two assists through 34 minutes of play. Tatum did not have his best showing despite reaching a double-double on 7-19 shooting.

White, on the other hand, was right behind Brown on the stat sheet with 25 points, one rebound, and five assists. He shot an efficient 9/16 from the field and 7/12 from downtown.

Who knew Steph Curry played for the Celtics under a pseudonym?

All this goes to say: White is a great basketball player and should not be overlooked. He is a key member of the Cs, and his value cannot be denied. Neither can Porzingis's.