Boston Celtics

Kristaps Porzingis explains why Derrick White is ‘the perfect teammate'

"I didn't realize how good D-White was."

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Derrick White doesn't have the eye-popping counting stats typically required to make the NBA All-Star Game, but for people who watch him play on a nightly basis, there's no question the Boston Celtics guard is worthy of consideration.

White scored 18 points on an efficient 8-of-13 shooting with a team-high 11 assists during the Celtics' 126-115 road win over the rival Los Angeles Lakers on Christmas Day. He also tallied two rebounds, two steals and two blocks in another excellent all-around performance.

The veteran guard has become one of the most important players on the team, and his impact on winning is certainly not lost on his teammates, including Kristaps Porzingis.

"I didn't realize how good D-White was. He's kinda under-the-radar a little bit," Porzingis told reporters after Monday's win. "Man, he's special. The way he plays, how 90-plus percent of the time he makes the right play, and that's the perfect teammate you want.

"On top of that, he's shooting great percentages and being super efficient. He's special, and I'm happy I have both of those guys on my team, Jrue (Holiday) and D-White."

White's ability to play either guard position, shoot a high percentage, defend multiple positions and be available almost every game (he's missed just three games since the start of last season) help make him so valuable.

White is averaging a career-high 16.6 points, along with 5.2 assists, 3.9 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 1.3 steals per game. He's also shooting 49.4 percent from the field and 42.4 percent from 3-point range.

The following post on X from Boston Sports Info highlights the kind of rare impact White is having at both ends of the floor this season.

That's got to be All-Star worthy, right?

All-Star selections are still significantly impacted by fan voting (50 percent of the total), and unfortunately for White, he's unlikely to win a popularity contest among fans who don't watch the Celtics too often. But he should get plenty of support from his peers and the media, who make up the other portion (25 percent each) of the voting.

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