Celtics’ Joe Mazzulla Acknowledges Derrick White’s ‘Selfless’ Play

'He's done a great job'


Jan 12, 2023

The Boston Celtics weren’t short of dispersed contribution during their win over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night, which notched the team’s fifth consecutive.

While Boston took the floor without Jaylen Brown, who was sidelined with right adductor tightness, and Al Horford, the Celtics showed they were up for the challenge tasked at hand. As they’ve done on several occasions this season, Boston displayed its next-man-up mentality against a worthy Eastern Conference foe.

Derrick White served as one of several Celtics who came through. White, who led all starters in plus-minus (+12), scored 15 points with seven rebounds and one vicious block — an ongoing trend. The 28-year-old has recorded 15 blocks through his last nine games with the Celtics 7-2 in said contests.

Joe Mazzulla didn’t fail to recognize White’s selfless contributions.

“He plays with such a sense of joy and toughness all the time, regardless of how the game’s going,” Mazzulla said, as seen on NBC Sports Boston’s postgame coverage. “Regardless if he’s touched the ball, he just competes on both ends of the floor and he’s just a selfless guy. He’s done a great job of doing that throughout the year and I’ve said that about him, I’ve said it about Malcolm (Brogdon), I’ve said it about all our bench guys. We can’t be a great team without them.”

While White notched his highest-scoring night of the month, his rebound total marked his most since Nov. 9 against the Detroit Pistons (7). He also netted his highest 3-pointer total (4) since Nov. 18 against the New Orleans Pelicans (6).

The Celtics’ reserve unit — Malcolm Brogdon, Payton Pritchard, Luke Kornet and Sam Hauser — combined to total 38 points on a more than efficient 62.9% (17-of-27) shooting from the field.

“I think we showed what our team can be,” Mazzulla said. “… With our mindset, our depth, our toughness.”

Thumbnail photo via Gregory Fisher/USA TODAY Sports Images
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