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YouTube Gold: Derrick White Enters The Celtics Pantheon Of Greatness

One of the greatest heads-up plays in NBA playoffs history

Boston Celtics v Miami Heat - Game Six
MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 27: Derrick White #9 and Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics react after defeating the Miami Heat 104-103 in game six of the Eastern Conference Finals at Kaseya Center on May 27, 2023 in Miami, Florida.
Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Somewhat like Duke Basketball, the Boston Celtics have a number of iconic moments in the team’s long history of championship basketball. There was the Havlicek steal, the Bird steal, the Henderson steal. Sam Jones had a famous buzzer beater in the 1969 finals vs. the Los Angeles Lakers. Larry Bird had many buzzer beaters, including one in Game 4 against the Lakers in 1984 over Magic Johnson to give the Celtics a 125-123 lead.

We don’t know where you would rank Derrick White’s clutch play Saturday night, but it will earn a spot, and a bigger spot if Boston gets to the Finals after being down 3-0.

If you’ve never seen the 2001 ACC Tournament win over Maryland, we recommend watching it. You can fast forward to the last minute or so of the game to see what we’re talking about here: Jason Williams came down the middle and got in the lane. He got a shot off with 3.4 off. Unfortunately it was under pressure and wasn’t going to go in

Fortunately for Duke, no one saw James trailing Willams down the left side of the court and no one thought to block him out.

And when he got to the basket, James went up and tipped the ball in with 1.3 left.

White’s play was kind of similar: he in-bounded the ball to Marcus Smart who got a shot off but missed.

But White, showing superb instincts, cut to the basket to follow the shot in and got a tip-in off with about 1/10 of a second left as Miami’s Max Strus swiped at the air, a fraction too late.

It was one of the headiest, most instinctive basketball plays you’ll see this year or any other.