Celtics Guard Comes Under Fire For Offensive Limitations

Derrick White, Boston Celtics

Getty Derrick White, Boston Celtics

When the Boston Celtics acquired Derrick White, they did so due to his ability to be a connector on offense and another core piece of their defensive system.

We all knew that White came with some offensive limitations and that his role within the offense would primarily consist of being a screener, cutter, and spot-up guy in the corner. However, none of us were prepared for the shooting struggles he displayed after joining the Celtics at the February trade deadline.

Those struggles have led Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney to label White as Boston’s most over-valued player heading into the new season.


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“You know, and I kept hearing through throughout his short time with the Celtics and and and into the playoffs that he’s doing things out there, that he’s making winning plays and they haven’t had a guy like him, and Ime loves him and all this stuff. But in the end, I mean, he came in for 26 games and shot 40 percent from the field and 30 percent from the three point line.

He had some pretty good moments in the playoffs, for sure, but still 36 percent from the field, 31 percent from the three point line. This is common in his career. It’s been the knock on him – that he’s not a consistent shooter. And that’s gonna hold him back,” Deveney said in the latest episode of the Celtics Collective Podcast.

Throughout the playoffs, Derrick White averaged 8.5 points, 2.7 assists, and three rebounds per game, while shooting 31.3% from deep and 40.9% from two-point range – going some way to validate Deveny’s point.


There’s More to The Game Than Scoring

While White isn’t the most gifted offensive player, he still brings a lot to the table. On offense, the veteran guard’s ability to time his cuts is invaluable, as it creates driving lanes for his teammates, or forces the defense into making a rotation.

On defense, White is arguably the Celtics second-best point of attack defender behind Marcus Smart, and is exceptional at drawing charges, and pressuring mistakes when operating the rear-view.

Sure, it would be nice if White could provide a more consistent offensive output, but remember, criticsm has been levied towards Smart for the same reason – and he just won Defensive Player of the Year! So, while White’s offensive game is limited, the impact he has on Boston’s overall game should not be overlooked.


White Faces a Battle For Minutes This Season

White may bring a lot to the table when it comes to his overall game, but that doesn’t mean his minutes are guaranteed, especially now that Malcolm Brogdon is part of the Celtics roster.

As things stand, Boston’s guard rotation looks like this

Point Guard

  • Marcus Smart
  • Malcolm Brogdon
  • Derrick White
  • Payton Pritchard
  • JD Davison

Shooting Guard

  • Jaylen Brown
  • Malcolm Brogdon
  • Derrick White
  • Payton Pritchard
  • JD Davison

So it will be interesting to see how Ime Udoka keeps all of his guards happy, while also ensuring his rotation has enough offense and defense to remain competitive – especially when some of the starters head to the bench for a rest.

Of course, Pritchard is the most likely casualty to begin the season, but given his incredible shooting ability, and how he likes to push the pace off the inbounds, Udoka may find himself calling on the third-year guard more often than he would like. Still, if White can find some consistency with his shot, he will quickly become one of the more valuable members of the rotation – unfortunatley, at this stage of his career, that looks unlikely.

 

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