Derrick White leads Celtics to second consecutive win over the Heat

Derrick White leads Celtics to second consecutive win over the Heat

The Boston Celtics secured their second consecutive win, defeating the Miami Heat with a score of 119-111. Key highlights include Derrick White’s exceptional performance, strong defensive plays, and Jaylen Brown’s crucial contributions. However, the Celtics need to address defensive challenges and boost bench scoring. The Heat presented a tough challenge with multiple players contributing to their offense.

The Celtics secured their second consecutive victory at the start of the season, defeating the Heat 119-111 on Friday. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Watching Derrick White perform at his best is akin to enjoying a well-crafted action movie. It’s not only entertaining, but it also leaves you feeling smarter about the subtle nuances you observed. White exhibits a cerebral style of basketball on both offense and defense, identifying spaces and angles that enhance possessions. In Friday’s game, he stood out with some spectacular defensive plays and a scorching performance in the fourth quarter, punctuated by a triumphant scream after nailing a heat-check shot

Analyzing Derrick White’s performance is intriguing due to his distinctive style as a guard. However, there are moments when it’s simply enjoyable to witness an exceptionally talented basketball player consistently making the right decisions and even taking matters into his own hands at times.

Joe Mazzulla, when speaking to reporters after the game, expressed his admiration for White’s plays, describing them as “sick” in a highly positive and appreciative manner.

  • Speaking of Derrick White, he and Jrue Holiday displayed their defensive prowess by combining for three chase-down blocks, preventing the Heat from scoring on fast-break dunks. While we lack specific tracking data to prove this, it’s safe to assume that there have been very few NBA games in history where the starting backcourt recorded three chase-down blocks.

White’s first block, executed in the first half, was a textbook example of a clean rejection. The second one came at a critical moment in the fourth quarter, with the Celtics holding a seven-point lead and fending off the Heat. On the other hand, Jrue Holiday denied Heat rookie Jaime Jacquez Jr. with his chase-down block. The defensive synergy between Holiday and White enables the Celtics to employ a range of unique defensive strategies. When White’s offense is firing on all cylinders, as it was on Friday, this backcourt duo becomes a formidable force.

Derrick White leads Celtics to second consecutive win over the Heat

  • Jaylen Brown’s performance in the game wasn’t flawless, but he delivered some outstanding stretches that compensated for any shortcomings, mirroring the overall performance of the Celtics. Brown showcased his skills by scoring 12 of his 27 points during the fourth quarter. He sealed the game’s fate by executing a critical 3-point shot with 18 seconds left, following in the footsteps of Tatum’s signature 3-point game-closer, effectively securing the victory for the Celtics.

Despite turning the ball over four times, including a couple of the notorious turnovers that he’s had historically against the Heat, Brown managed to tighten up his game in the fourth quarter. He didn’t commit any turnovers in the final 16 minutes of game time. This improvement was evident in his performance on Friday, demonstrating his ability to adapt and highlighting the depth of the team once again.

  • Kristaps Porzingis is undoubtedly a dynamic offensive player, but the Celtics need to come up with better defensive solutions. While Porzingis can protect the rim, Bam Adebayo seemed eager to take him head-on, and the Heat’s shooters were able to find open looks when curling off Adebayo while Porzingis was positioned back in the key. The combination of Adebayo’s scoring and the Heat’s hot 3-point shooting can be an effective winning strategy.

What’s potentially more concerning is that despite the Celtics winning two games in a row, they have allowed their opponents to make a high number of three-pointers, with the Knicks hitting 43.9% and the Heat hitting 47.1% from behind the arc.

  • The Celtics undoubtedly have a top-heavy roster, and despite the talent on their training camp roster, they need more than just eight points from their bench.


  • Oshae Brissett made a positive impact during the first half, playing for 14 minutes. He managed to secure three offensive rebounds (five in total) and extended four different possessions. He also had an impressive slam dunk.


  • Joe Mazzulla informed the reporters after the game that Oshae Brissett was initially planned to enter at the beginning of the second quarter. However, Mazzulla decided to bring him in during the first quarter to inject some much-needed energy into the game.

“He changed the game,” Mazzulla commented.

  • Jayson Tatum had a challenging shooting night, making only three of his ten 3-point attempts and needing 22 shots to score 22 points. He also struggled from the free-throw line, going 1-for-3. This performance was a contrast to his 34-point game in the season opener against the Knicks.Despite his shooting woes, Tatum showcased his offensive versatility in the first half. He executed a series of strong moves to the basket from the post, demonstrating an aggressive approach that the Celtics desire, especially on nights when his 3-point shot isn’t on target. Tatum’s offseason work to gain 12 pounds of muscle pays off when he can effectively use it.
  • The Miami Heat consistently pose a challenge for the Boston Celtics. In their recent match, several Heat players made significant contributions. Kyle Lowry showed glimpses of his younger self, scoring 13 points on efficient 5-for-7 shooting. Dru Smith knocked down three 3-pointers, and Duncan Robinson hit consecutive triples shortly after the Celtics had rallied to tie the game following a double-digit deficit. Miami’s tenacious defense forced the Celtics into 14 turnovers during the first three quarters. Tyler Herro displayed streaks of hot and cold shooting, but during his hot moments, he confidently attempted and made challenging heat-check shots that would impress even a sharpshooter like Steph Curry.

While the Celtics may have the talent edge, it’s still too early to definitively say that the Heat can’t pose a challenge.

  • Paul Pierce made an appearance during the NBC Sports Boston broadcast in the second quarter. The network played a touching montage featuring moments between Pierce and legendary play-by-play announcer Mike Gorman, who is set to retire this year. One memorable clip showed Pierce, Gorman, and Tommy Heinsohn sharing a special moment after the Celtics’ championship win in 2008.

In the clip, Pierce embraced Gorman and Heinsohn, expressing his gratitude for having two broadcasters who had followed his entire career. When the broadcast resumed, Gorman, known for his quick wit, quipped to Brian Scalabrine, “That’s why he was my favorite Celtic,” and Pierce beamed at the compliment. These heartwarming interactions are the beginning of what promises to be an emotional farewell as Gorman prepares to step away from his role as the voice of the Celtics.







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