These two Celtics will be crucial to unlocking Kristaps Porzingis’ potential

Kristaps Porzingis, Boston Celtics (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
Kristaps Porzingis, Boston Celtics (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images) /
1 of 4

Derrick White never missed a single game with the Boston Celtics, showing full comfortability in his first full season. Often viewed as the third-best and most effective option, he showed big improvements on both ends in his new home. White’s historic buzzer-beater to force a game 7 in Boston after facing a 3-0 deficit to Miami was a perfect portrayal of his stellar first year for the Celtics.

He was among the league leaders in plus-minus and won an East Player of the Week award. White made an all-defensive team, mastering the intangibles and IQ Marcus Smart provided and beyond as the go-to guard, providing much more consistent offense.

His dogged, defensive instincts were so important to Boston that he led all guards around the league in blocks on the season. At the rim, he even recorded more than Giannis Antetokounmpo. Taking plenty of pressure off of the Jays, he shot 38% from three and 45% from out there in the postseason with a true-shooting percentage of 67.1.

When White was at point guard, he killed it, quarterbacking the team, as the Celtics’ coach Joe Mazzulla recently labeled him the team’s new PG. It signaled how largely crucial a determining factor in White becoming the primary guard was in this summer’s Kristaps Porzingis transition.