After Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, Who’s the Best Player on the Boston Celtics?
It’s safe to say Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are one of the best, if not the best, duos in the NBA. The Boston Celtics tandem guided the team into the NBA Finals for the first time in 12 seasons last year. This year, they have the Celtics playing terrific basketball as the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference.
We know all about Tatum and Brown, but what about their supporting cast? There’s plenty of talent surrounding the two stars, but who would be considered the third-best player on the Celtics?
Do Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown get too much credit with the Boston Celtics?
When talking about the Boston Celtics, the conversation usually starts with Tatum and Brown. It’s definitely a sound starting point as they are two of the top young stars in the league and only get better each year.
Tatum found himself in the thick of the MVP race for the better part of the season. He put up career-highs this year in points (30.1), rebounds (8.8), and assists (4.6). He was an All-Star for the fourth straight season. Brown also had career-highs in points (26.6) and rebounds (6.9). He equaled last year’s total for assists (3.5). He was an All-Star for the second time in his career.
Tatum and Brown struggled in the postseason a year ago, They were careless with the ball, didn’t always shoot well, but the Celtics still managed to reach the championship round.
This year, the Celtics addressed last season’s biggest issue — depth. Boston went out and traded for veteran guard Malcolm Brogdon. Brogdon unselfishly led the second unit in Boston and helped make the Celtics one of the deepest teams in the league.
Robert Williams is back after starting the season on the sideline with a knee injury. Veteran center Al Horford is second in the NBA in three-point percentage at 45.1%. Marcus Smart is the heart and soul of the team. Derrick White has been a jack-of-all-trades guard in his first full season in Boston. The team is much more than Tatum and Brown.
Derrick White doesn’t get enough credit with the Celtics
After Tatum and Brown, I’m taking White as the best player on the Celtics.
While many Celtics players have their specialty, White does everything well. Smart plays terrific defense. Williams is a game-changer in the middle with his freakish athletic ability. White, however, does it all, and he’s turning it up a notch in the postseason.
The 6-foot-4 guard played in all 82 games this year. He started 70 of them. White averaged 28.3 minutes during the regular season and put up 12.4 points, 3.9 assists, and 3.6 rebounds. He was far and away the team’s biggest shot-blocker, finishing with 76 blocks. Horford finished with 61. Williams collected 48.
In Tuesday’s Game 2 playoff victory over the Atlanta Hawks, White had 26 points, seven rebounds, and three blocks. He made 11 of 16 shots from the floor. He even had the TD Garden crowd chanting “M-V-P” during his performance.
In Game 1 of the series, White had 24 points, seven assists, and five rebounds. Even Tatum knows what the Celtics have in White.
“We’re just so much more of a dynamic team when D White is asserting himself and being aggressive,” Tatum told reporters after the game, per NBC Sports Boston. “We’ve talked about being too passive and looking for guys too much. He’s too good of a guy.”