Derrick White Gives Celtics Reality Check Despite Major Game 2 Win Over Hawks

Derrick White, Boston Celtics

Getty Derrick White of the Boston Celtics reacts late in the first quarter against the Miami Heat.

Tuesday night, the Boston Celtics secured a 2-0 series lead in this year’s quarterfinal matchup with a dominating win over the seventh-seeded Atlanta Hawks. However, though the C’s are certainly in the driver’s seat in this best-of-seven bout, Derrick White still believes his club needs to stay focused for what lies ahead.

During his post-game media session, the veteran guard discussed how the Celtics must now prepare for games with a different mentality being that they’ll be playing in a harsher environment whilst on the road in Atlanta.

“We did what we were supposed to do. [We] held [home court advantage] and now we got the real challenge of the playoffs which is winning on the road,” Derrick White said. “I know they’re going to play better at home and we’re going to have to step up our level of play.”

With their latest win, the Celtics join the Sacramento Kings and Philadelphia 76ers as the only clubs currently boasting a 2-0 series record during these early stages of the 2023 NBA Playoffs.

That said, all three clubs have played their games to this point in front of their home crowd where, generally, a team performs at its best.

Now heading to Atlanta, Derrick White believes the Celtics must refrain from getting too comfortable with their status of being undefeated thus far into the postseason.

Jayson Tatum on Derrick White Love From Celtics Fans

Though their Game 2 win was an all-around team effort, leading the charge for Boston was Derrick White and his high-end, two-way efforts on the night.

The 28-year-old’s performance was so electric, he began to receive “MVP” chants from the packed crowd at TD Garden, and, during Jayson Tatum‘s post-game media session, he deemed the praise as being well deserved.

“I mean, s***, I was happy for him,” Tatum said of the MVP chants. “He’s been playing his a** off these last two games. Obviously, a big, big reason why we’ve won these last two games. We need him to continue to play at this level, and he can. So, I was happy to hear that. We talked about it after the game. He was like, ‘That’s what it feels like?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, I guess.’”

Logging 34 minutes on the night, Derrick White went on to finish with a stellar all-around stat line of 26 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 blocks, and a steal while shooting 68.8% from the floor and 40.0% from deep.

Celtics Coach Joe Mazzulla Talks Dejounte Murray Chatter

During Tuesday night’s affair, following a string of made 3-pointers mid-way through the third, Hawks star Dejounte Murray was seen chirping at Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla on the sidelines.

Following the outing, the headman was asked by a reporter during his post-game media session to shed light on what was said. In response, Mazzulla played things cool and, frankly, rather sarcastic.

“He was talking to me. He just asked how my day was going. He’s a great kid. I’ve gotten to know him from the people through the Spurs organization,” Joe Mazzulla said.

Despite their loss, Dejounte Murray had a highly productive outing against Boston, as he finished out with a team-high 29 points while adding 6 assists, 6 rebounds, and 4 steals and shot 53.8% from deep.

Nonetheless, the Celtics were the ones who managed to pull out the 119-109 victory.