The Boston Celtics lost yet another player from their roster heading into Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat on Thursday, May 19. While the Celtics’ starting point guard Marcus Smart, the NBA’s 2022 Defensive Player of the Year, is “probable” to return, Boston will be without his backup, Derrick White.
The Celtics revealed on Tuesday morning that White was ruled out due to “personal reasons.”
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While it sounds like something awful must’ve happened for White to leave his team during such a pivotal playoff game, according to Boston Sports journalist John Karalis, the 27-year-old is likely missing Game 2 against the Heat for a life-changing occasion, the birth of his first child.
Karalis tweeted on Tuesday, “White is out tonight due to personal reasons. Unsure what that is, but he announced that his wife was expecting back in November, so the math checks out.” Spotrac.com’s Keith Smith put out a similar report.
Celtics head coach Ime Udoka confirmed the reports. “It came sooner than expected,” Udoka told Sun Sentinel‘s Ira Winderman of White’s baby. “But we support our guys in that situation.”
White, who tied the knot with his wife, Hannah Lee White, in September, previously spoke about his wife’s pregnancy prior to Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals in an interview with Abby Chin.
“Mentally, how are you doing?” Chin asked. “Taking on all of this, one of the biggest basketball stages of your life, but you also have something big happening at home with your wife. Due with your first baby in less than a week. How are you handling the mental load?”
White replied, “It’s been crazy! I’m just trying got be there for her. She’s a rockstar. I can’t wait for the kid to come. Hopefully, I’m there! And I hope to get this win, too.”
The Heat are Still Without Kyle Lowry
As for the Heat’s injury report, only one player has been officially ruled out for Game 2 against the Celtics, starting point guard Kyle Lowry, who’s been sidelined for much of the postseason with a hamstring injury. Gabe Vincent, who’s been filling in for Lowry, will likely once again take his spot in the starting lineup.
While Lowry is a key reason why the Heat entered the postseason as the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, Vincent, along with guard Victor Oladipo, have successfully picked up the slack. The Heat have been undefeated in the playoffs when Lowry’s been ruled out.
The Heat lead the series 1-0 after taking a resounding 118-107 over the Celtics in Game 1 on Tuesday, May 17.
Heat/Celtics Game 2 Takes Place in Miami
The Heat continue to perfect at home during the playoffs, and the Heat once again host the Celtics at the FTX Arena in Miami for Game 2. Here’s the full schedule for the Heat/Celtics series:
Game 2: Thursday, May 19, FTX Arena, 8:30 p.m., ESPN
Game 3: Saturday, May 21, TD Garden, 8:30 p.m., ABC
Game 4: Monday, May 23, TD Garden, 8:30 p.m., ABC
Game 5*: May 25: FTX Arena, 8:30 p.m., ESPN
Game 6*: May 27, TD Garden, 8:30 p.m., ESPN
Game 7*: May 29: FTX Arena, 8:30 p.m., ESPN