The Boston Celtics have been one of the best defensive teams in the league this season, ranking fourth in defensive rating as of April 4, 2023.
While they have several players who are known for their defensive prowess, such as Al Horford, Robert Williams III and Marcus Smart, there is one player who has been flying under the radar: Derrick White.
White, a 6-foot-4 guard, leads the team in blocks with 73 in 78 games. He is also the only player in the NBA who is 6-foot-7 or shorter to rank in the top 25 in total blocks.
His ability to protect the rim and disrupt shots is remarkable for a player his size. He also averages 1.2 steals per game and often guards the opposing team’s best perimeter player.
White’s impact on defense has not gone unnoticed by his teammates and coaches. Al Horford, a five-time All-Star and two-time All-Defensive team selection, endorsed White for the NBA All-Defensive First Team.
“I personally think he’s probably First Team All-Defense already,” Horford said to NBC Sports Boston . “You look around and it’s one of those things that we can’t get caught up in names and reputations over the years.
Focus on this year, focus on what he’s done, on the success of our team. It’s a big part of that. There’s no argument.”
Robert Williams III, who is second on the team in blocks with 66 and was named to the All-Defensive Second Team last season, joked that he and White are competing for blocks.
“We’re kinda in an argument about who gets what blocks,” Williams III said . “It seems like we’re both on the same play when it’s a blocked shot. I try to let him win a couple of them because he’s my guy but I gotta start taking some away from him.”
Celtics head coach Will Hardy praised White for his defensive versatility and energy.
“He can guard multiple positions, he can switch, he can fight over screens, he can chase guys off the ball,” Hardy said . “He’s always active, he’s always talking, he’s always engaged. He brings a lot of intensity and passion to our defense.”
White has been a key factor in the Celtics’ success this season. They are currently third in the Eastern Conference with a 51-27 record and have clinched a playoff spot. White is averaging 14.8 points, 4.6 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game, while shooting 46.5% from the field and 38.9% from three-point range.
White has a strong case for making an NBA All-Defense team this season. He has been consistent, impactful and versatile on that end of the floor. He has also shown improvement from last season, when he averaged 0.9 blocks and 0.8 steals per game.
The NBA All-Defensive teams are voted by a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. The results will be announced after the regular season ends on April 10.
White deserves to be recognized for his defensive excellence this season. He has been one of the best defenders in the league, regardless of position or height. He has been a vital part of the Celtics’ identity and culture.
Final Thoughts: Derrick White Should Make an NBA All-Defense Team
Derrick White’s impact on the Boston Celtics’ defense this season has been significant. He has been consistent, versatile, and impactful on that end of the floor. White’s ability to block shots, protect the rim, and guard multiple positions has been essential for the Celtics’ success this season.
Furthermore, his improvement from last season, when he averaged fewer blocks and steals per game, is a testament to his dedication to his craft. He has also been able to maintain his offensive production while playing a key role in the Celtics’ defensive schemes.
White’s contributions to the Celtics’ defense have not gone unnoticed by his teammates, coaches, and the media. He has received praise from his teammates Al Horford and Robert Williams III, who are both known for their defensive prowess.
Celtics head coach Will Hardy has also praised White for his versatility and energy.
White has a strong case for making an NBA All-Defensive team this season. He is among the league’s best defenders, regardless of position or height. His consistency and impact on the Celtics’ defense should make him a top candidate for an All-Defensive team selection.
Ultimately, the decision on whether or not White makes an NBA All-Defensive team will be made by a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.
However, based on his performance this season, White deserves recognition for his defensive excellence. He has been an integral part of the Celtics’ identity and culture and should be recognized for his contributions to their success.
In conclusion, Derrick White should make an NBA All-Defensive team this season. His defensive impact and consistency for the Boston Celtics this season have been remarkable, and he deserves recognition for his contributions.