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Clumsy from afar, Derrick White just made the most important shot!

The Pacers and Celtics are tied, 102-102, with less than a minute to play when Jaylen Brown rushes to attack the rim. The defensive assists arrive and Brown has two solutions: pass to Jayson Tatum right next to him, or to Derrick White in the right corner. At this time, the Celtics guard is only 1/8 away, but Brown still serves him. Sticking to the Pacers replacement, White hits the mark (105-102) and it will be the last basket of the match! The “game winner”, and even the “series winner”.

A shooter with a short memory

“We knew they were going to make runs and we just had to stay the course,” analyzes the Pacers gravedigger. “Then I stepped aside and kudos to Jaylen Brown for penetrating and then making the right decision. I finally got in a shot! And it's great to get this victory, it's really not easy to go to the NBA Finals. »

By the time he put his feet down and then fired, White had forgotten his clumsiness. He stood against the corner, ready to receive the ball.

“It’s a great shot,” recognizes the passer and MVP of the series, Jaylen Brown. “We often work on these kinds of shots and on reading the shots in pairs. I walked into the paint with Turner on me, and then I found him. And right before that, I told Derrick to stay ready, and that it was going to happen. It was just an important shot to put us 3 points ahead and help us reach the Finals. »

Repeat for Derrick White

His coach, Joe Mazzulla, isn't really surprised that White can make such a shot. In fact, White falls into this category of “silent assassins.” Of those capable of hitting the mark when their leaders are pressed closely. Like a John Paxson or a Steve Kerr to the Bulls of the great era.

“He is one of those players who has a short memory” explains the Celtics coach. “The last missed shot doesn't impact him, he's someone who stays positive and has a real presence on the pitch. This must be the 4th or 5th time he puts these kinds of shots in the corner. I remember one in Toronto… When he catches the ball, I have every confidence in him to make it go in. He is one of those players whose lack of skill will not have an impact on their way of defending or their way of executing. “

Customary of the fact, Derrick White is not only there to return winning shots in the corner. He is also for the victory baskets in the conference final. On May 27, 2023, a year ago to the day, the Celtics were in Miami to save their skin in Game 6.

Derrick White then stood out with a tap forcing Boston and Miami to play a Game 7. At the time, the Celtics hoped to become the first team to win after being down 3-0. This was not the case, but a year later, the Celtics returned to the NBA Finals.

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