The 2024 NBA All-Star Game is over two months away, and in the meantime, Celtics guard Derrick White has continued to fuel an evergrowing case to represent Boston — in the most effective way possible.

White, 29, has never been voted an All-Star throughout his seven-year career, but never has the bid been stronger.

Since joining the Celtics via trade from the San Antonio Spurs two seasons ago, White’s responsibilities have grown each year in Boston. First, White played behind ex-Boston floor general Marcus Smart, along the ride for a failed run at the NBA Finals in 2022 to an upgraded role in the starting unit last season ahead of Malcolm Brogdon. Now, White is a full-time starter, having earned his stripes and the unofficial “Mr. Efficiency” label on an even more stacked Celtics team with championship expectations through the roof in Boston.

And while there have been instances of underserving All-Star Game cases for players simply third-wheeling behind those deserving of the nod — like Draymond Green (four times ) — this doesn’t apply here. White is a legitimate candidate, who if removed, could drastically alter the red-hot momentum that’s placed the Celtics atop the Eastern Conference with an NBA-best 24-6 record through their first 30 games.

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White’s even begun to garner endorsements from Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla, teammate Jayson Tatum, former Boston fan-favorite Isaiah Thomas, and ex-NBA veteran JJ Reddick — all of which have read between the lines of White’s still-underrated impact that hasn’t received its rightfully deserved recognition yet.

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“He’s an All-Star,” Mazzulla told reporters after White scored 26 points in Boston’s recent road win over the Kings, per CLNS Media video. “… A lot of the times when we wanna settle a team down and we wanna get to really good execution, we go to Derrick White pick-and-rolls.”

Mazzulla added: “One of the reasons we feel so comfortable with him at the point is what he can do.”

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1) Scoring efficiency — pairing White with two NBA MVP winners
Now playing a career-high 32.7 minutes through 27 starts, White’s produced the best season of his career.

He’s averaging 16.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 3.9 assists with a 62.1 effective field goal percentage — all career highs. Only two other NBA players this season have averaged over 15 points with five-plus assists, one-plus steals, and at least one block while shooting over 50% from the field — Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo. That’s some pretty favorable company.

When on the floor, the Celtics rarely ever need to worry about White taking a shot they can’t live with. There isn’t an ounce of concern regarding whether or not White will make the right read or take an unselfish shot that spreads around the floor, alleviating the challenges of getting a stacked lineup with experienced veteran All-Stars to work together and balance the scoring.

“I didn’t realize how good D. White was,” Celtics teammate Kristaps Porzingis told reporters after Boston’s Christmas Day win over the Lakers, per CLNS Media video. “He’s kind of like under the radar a little bit. But man, he’s special. The way he plays, how 90-plus percent of the time he makes the right play all the time. That’s the perfect teammate you want.”

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In just 30 games, that hasn’t been an issue which is very impressive for a team that was assembled relatively late in the offseason, led by two young stars in Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

2) White’s unreal defensive hot streak
There are few guards in the league capable of being as efficient on both ends of the floor, making White a nearly untouchable asset.

During Thursday’s night overtime win over the Pistons, giving Detroit its record-setting 28th consecutive loss, White carried on a streak of his own. He recorded two blocks for the fifth consecutive time, tying White with Dwayne Wade and Mookie Blaylock for the longest two-plus-block streak by a guard ever in NBA history.

White’s blocks aren’t cheap sellers either. He’s gone toe-to-toe with some of the NBA’s best, challenging nearly every guard at the rim and — somehow — surprising opponents each time as if White isn’t fresh off an All-Defensive First Team nod last season.

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“What you’re seeing is one of the best two-way players in the NBA, impacting winning on the best team in basketball,” Reddick said on the “Old Man & the Three” podcast following Boston’s four-game West Coast road trip. “That, to me, is at least the start of some All-Star consideration, despite the fact that some people don’t think that role players could make All-Star Games.”

Among all point guards in the NBA, White sits atop averaging 1.3 blocks per contest along with 1.2 steals — ranking eighth. That’s played huge in helping the Celtics establish a defensive rating (110.6) that ranks third among all teams and second in the East.

The tandem of White and Jrue Holiday has allowed Boston the luxury of having the best defensive backcourt in the NBA — and it’s not even close.

3) White’s ability to show up in the clutch
The ultimate test of scoring in the crunch-time moments hasn’t fazed White.

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He’s gone 7-for-17 in clutch shot attempts, which fall under minutes when the scoring margin is within five points with less than five minutes to play, recording a team-leading 42% from the field in said moments. That also ranks White ninth among all NBA players in that category.

Not to mention, in the clutch, White’s also been impactful on the other side of the floor as well.

White has totaled nine clutch-time blocks, which ranks second in the NBA.

There were moments throughout last season in which the debate was made on whether or not Mazzulla should’ve leaned to White in critical game-deciding moments, but that conversation’s cleared up quickly. Not many players are as impactful as White has been for the best the NBA has to offer, making it a no-brainer that All-Star consideration is most certainly due.

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Featured image via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images