Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Derrick White earns Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors

Derrick White has earned Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors for games played between Feb. 6th through the 12th, the NBA announced Monday afternoon.

White, who's been starting in place of Marcus Smart (ankle sprain) over the past month, led the short-handed Celtics to a 4-0 week, despite missing Jaylen Brown (facial fracture), Al Horford (knee) and Malcolm Brogdon (Achilles) at one point or another over the past seven days. 

As the Celtics starting point guard, White averaged 24.5 points, 7.5 assists, and 4.8 rebounds per contest, while being the only player in the league to shoot at least 50% from the field, 50% from 3-point range, and 90% from the free-throw line during that four-game stretch.

White led the team in scoring and assists (10) in their most recent 119-109 win over the Grizzlies on Super Sunday and tied for the C's top scorer in a 106-99 statement victory against the third place 76ers. The 28-year-old also had the second best scoring performance when Boston beat the Pistons on the road, 111-99 to start the week.
"I'm just trying to tell myself just to have good energy," White said in Sunday's postgame presser. "I feel like when I have good energy, whether they're in or not, I'm able to do some good things out there. So, I just tell myself that before every game, just bring the energy and then make shots, miss shots, just make the right play."
When the Celtics topped the Hornets 127-116 at TD Garden, White recorded a career-high 33 points, behind Jayson Tatum's 41 points, plus became the only player in league history to hit eight 3-pointer (8-of-14), dish out 10 assists and have three blocks in the same game.

While being the only Celtic to play every game (57) this season, White has a current streak of multiple 3-pointers made in each game (10) -- which is the second-longest active streak behind Stephen Curry.

White's Player of the Week honors, the first of his NBA career, comes nearly a year following his arrival in Boston at the trade deadline, becoming the only Celtic other than Tatum to earn the award this season.

With Smart and Brown's return still unknown, the Celtics -- who face the second place Bucks on the road Tuesday night -- will need White to continue his hot streak, as he's averaging 19.4 points on 51% shooting from the field, 47% from deep on 6.6 attempts and 87% from the free throw line to go along with 4.9 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.1 blocks over the last 10 games (all starts).

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of Getty Images

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