Celtics’ Derrick White Was Off in His Recent Self-Assessment

Derrick White

Getty Derrick White might not be the best player on the Boston Celtics, but he could be the most valuable.

Is it possible to be the MVP of the team and not be considered the best player? If so, Boston Celtics guard Derrick White was off base recently.

White’s name isn’t anywhere to be found when it comes to the NBA’s Most Valuable Player. His teammate, Jayson Tatum, is. Tatum puts up the juicier stats. He’s the bigger, more physical, player , and that’s helped propel him to three All-NBA honors.

White, however, is what makes this Celtics team go. He recently shrugged off TD Garden chants of “M-V-P,” even though the Boston crowd was right.

Derrick White Stays Humble Though His Success With the Celtics

Who says White isn’t the MVP of the Celtics? What constitutes the most valuable player?

If it’s based solely on numbers, White has no shot at that honor, but being valuable is far different from being the best.

During a recent victory over the New York Knicks, White led all scorers with 30 points. He went 10-for-16 from the floor and connected on six of 10 3-point attempts. When White went to the foul line, Celtics fans chanted “M-V-P,” a salute typically reserved for Tatum. After the game, a seemingly uncomfortable White addressed those chants.

“It’s crazy,” he said postgame. “We have the best fans in the league, so I’m always thankful and grateful for them. I’m not the MVP, but it’s always cool to hear.”

Why isn’t White the MVP of the Celtics?

His unselfishness allows him to be comfortable with not being the high scorer. His hustle gives him the opportunity to get those sneaky steals that often go unnoticed. He’ll sacrifice his body by taking a momentum-changing charge.

If you’re a casual fan and scour box NBA scores, you’ll view White as a solid player. If you watch White night in and night out, you’ll see he’s spectacular. White is the glue that holds the star-studded Celtics team together.

Derrick White Is the MVP of the Celtics

When it comes to statistics, White will likely always be behind Tatum and Jaylen Brown, a tandem viewed by many as the best in the NBA.

White does all the little things. A year ago, White, a 6-foot-4 guard, led the Celtics in blocked shots. His pure hustle and nose for the ball singlehandedly vaulted the Celtics into a Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals after sprinting to the rim and putting back a missed Marcus Smart shot at the buzzer against the Miami Heat. White leads all Celtics starters in free-throw percentage at 88.6% this year.

“More and more people are talking about it now, but I think he’s still very underrated,” teammate Kristaps Porzingis said recently. “He’s already put up some great stats, and his numbers are really good. But if you don’t watch the game, what you don’t see is all the steals, something like when he recovers on defense when he’s super late, and somehow he gets a steal.

“He can change the game, change the momentum. He’s really good at that. I think if you don’t watch the game, you don’t see. But when you watch the game, you realize how good and how important he is.”

While Tatum and Brown will always be considered the better basketball players, White is proving to be the most valuable in Boston.

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