Celtics news: Derrick White trade looms large; Jaylen Brown injury update
The Boston Celtics scored a huge win on Tuesday night with a 107-98 victory over the Atlanta Hawks at TD Garden.
Down 14 at halftime and looking like a team defeated, the Celtics leaned on All-Star forward Jayson Tatum and newcomer Derrick White in overcoming that 14-point deficit by outscoring the Hawks 56-33 in the second half.
While the team was dampened by the loss of Jaylen Brown, who went down with an ankle sprain early in the first quarter, it was encouraging to see the team get it together in the second half fueled by a player they acquired at the NBA Trade Deadline.
Boston Celtics energized by the play of newcomer Derrick White
If you are a fan who had any doubt about White or didn’t know important, he would be to this team, Tuesday night was a prime example of Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens making the right deal.
With Brown out and the team needing someone else to step up besides Tatum, White answered the call both offensively and defensively. He finished the game with 18 points on 7-for-13 shooting with some key buckets during the team’s third quarter push. On a night that looked like it was going to be a loss on and off the court, Celtics head coach Ime Udoka praised the Celtics newcomer for providing a spark and another option on offense.
“Offensively it felt like we were a little – I don’t know, shell-shocked with Jaylen going out, kind of had to figure out how we were going to attack it, and Derrick was a huge part of that obviously,” Udoka said following the game, via Boston.com. “A guy that can handle the ball, score, and make plays for everybody.
“They started doubling Jayson and everybody else got to kind of eat off of him, and so Derrick was huge obviously – handling, scoring, distributing, defensively, all the way around. So it was huge to have a guy like him ready on a night when Jaylen goes out.”
With Brown expected to miss a few games…and hopefully just a few games, the value of the Derrick White trade at the deadline now looms large and should benefit the Boston Celtics even more moving forward, especially when Brown as White is proving he fits extremely well on this basketball team.
Celtics notes: Ime Udoka addresses Jaylen Brown injury
Speaking of the Jaylen Brown injury, what is the prognosis of the Boston Celtics star?
Following the 107-98 victory, Ime Udoka offered some positive insight on the star wing.
“He tried to give it a go in the back and wanted to try to get out there to play, but thought better of it,” Udoka said, via NBC Sports Boston. “Big picture with where we’re at in the season, it’d be wise to take it off. We’ll see how it is over the next few days.”
Although the timing of Brown’s injury is not ideal, the big picture for the Celtics is having him healthy and on the court in the playoffs. With Jayson Tatum stepping up and players like Derrick White and Grant Williams making contribution, the team should be fine.
There is a tough stretch of games coming up, but if the team continue to play the kind of basketball on both ends of the court that has won them 12 of 14 games, they will get their fair share of wins even without Jaylen Brown.
The absence of Brown will also test the resiliency of this Celtics team.