Derrick White Explains the ‘Basketball Joy’ of the Boston Celtics

Derrick White

Getty Derrick White talked about how the "basketball joy" has played a role in the Boston Celtics success.

This year’s Boston Celtics team is different than the team that went to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals a year ago. Its not just because Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday are in town and veteran guard Marcus Smart is now with the Memphis Grizzlies.

According to Derrick White, the change doesn’t have anything to do with team personnel. It has much more do do with the “basketball joy” preached by head coach Joe Mazzulla and carried out by the players.

Derrick White Talks About ‘Basketball Joy’ With the Boston Celtics

While the Celtics have played their way to a six-game lead over the second-place Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference, they’ve done it the right way.

Star players like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have made sacrifices this season. They’re not alone. Tatum, Brown, Porzingis, and Holiday have all seen their statistics fall from a year ago. As long as the team is winning, none of them have a problem with that.

During a recent appearance on “The Greg Hill Show” on WEEI in Boston, White spoke about the Celtics spreading the wealth around and the “basketball joy” the Celtics have found this season.

“Joes been great, trying to instill the basketball joy — we talk about that all the time,” White said on the radio show. “You want to play the right way. You’ve got to move the ball. When we’re moving the ball, and we’re having fun and having that joy, we’re a really good team.

“Obviously, adding KP and Jrue just gives us so many different options that there are so many different way we can win games now. It’s been a lot of fun, and we just want to keep getting better and better and be playing our best basketball at the end of the year.”

White Touched On the Sacrifices the Celtics Players Have Made

Earlier this season, Tatum touched on the fact that most of the Celtics players have seen their numbers take a dip. He also said he has no problem with that dip in numbers as long as there is a ‘W’ next to the Celtics in the box score.

“I’m certain none of us are averaging career-highs in points, right?” Tatum said in December. “We’ve all taken a dip, but it’s for the better of the team. Our success as a unit is more important, and we understand that. We know what the ultimate goal is.”

White said all that sacrifice talk began Day 1 of this year.

“Yeah, we talked about it before the year,” White said. “We know we all can’t start. We know we all can’t finish. We’re probably not going to average our most points in our career. It’s going to be a different guy each night, so we just had to accept it.

“Some nights, I won’t finish, and Al will finish. Some nights, Jrue would finish. We just completely bought in to just winning. We just have that mindset, and we talked about it from the beginning of the year. Whoever it is that night, we’re all just happy, especially when we get a win.”

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