Celtics vs Heat Player Props: Backing Derrick White for Game 1 (May 17)
Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Derrick White.
Celtics vs Heat Odds
-115 / -105
-115 / -105
Pick: Derrick White Over 12.5 Points + Rebounds + Assists (BetMGM, -110)
Derrick White is unlikely to return to the Celtics starting lineup for Game 1, but he’s still a good buy-low player against the Heat. White should have a larger role on both sides of the ball in this series after being phased out in favor of the double-big lineups toward the end of the 76ers series.
Offensively, White should have the ball in his hands a lot more than he did against the 76ers. Ball movement is essential against Miami, and White’s ability to drive into the lane and make plays will be needed to loosen up the Heat defense.
The ball will likely also find White with the opportunity to step into shots beyond the arc. In 111 regular-season minutes against Miami, White shot 23 3-pointers and 18 free throws while also dishing out 15 assists. His usage rate of 22.3% against the Heat was tied for second-highest among all the teams he faced this season.
Defensively, White will have more of a role because he can hold his own against Jimmy Butler. More importantly, the Heat shooters at the four spot (Kevin Love and Caleb Martin) are more adept at making the Celtics pay for playing two big men than P.J. Tucker and the 76ers.
After averaging 14.3/3.8/4.3 in the last four games of last year’s Eastern Conference Finals against the Heat, White went on to post point/rebound/assist marks of 18, 21, 20, and 32 against Miami this season, averaging 22.8 in just under 28 minutes a game. That works out to 0.81 per minute, which would net him 13 points + rebounds + assists in just 16 minutes and 14 in just 17 minutes, though he’s a good bet to get back into the 20s.
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