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Do Derrick White and Jrue Holiday rank as the NBA’s best backcourt combination?


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Derrick White and Jrue Holiday have played a significant role in the Celtics’ early-season success.

Derrick White, Jrue Holiday

With 23 victories in 29 games, the Boston Celtics are presently the NBA’s best team in terms of record. Why the Celtics are so dominant has been discussed endlessly. Has Kristaps Porzingis been added? Has Jrue Holiday’s capacity to perform well in a role with less usage become a cornerstone in the formation of the team?

Actually, it’s a combination of all of them. Jaylen Brown is having a great time in his new position and is playing some of his best basketball to date. Tatum is now a valuable member of the team in every aspect and contributes to the game in many ways. Porzingis has given floor spacing that is exceptional. For many, Derrick White’s transformation into a different person was unthinkable.

Boston’s lineups are +13.9 in 1122 non-garbage-time minutes when they’re sharing the floor, according to Cleaning The Glass. Even though their lineups average 122.9 points per 100 possessions, they are only allowing teams to score 109 points per 100 possessions. Although a lot depends on who else is on the court with them, it is evident that their combined presence on the court is beneficial.

Holiday and White both make significant contributions as individuals, so it’s important to remember that sharing the floor isn’t a prerequisite for their success. However, as part of Joe Mazzulla’s rotation, Boston’s backcourt tandem is flourishing. To prevent mismatches in screening actions, they can defend a variety of positions, including big men. As primary or secondary ball handlers, they are able to start the offense. Additionally, they can produce shots for other people or for themselves.

We talked about whether White and Holiday have become the best backcourt duo in the NBA in the most recent episode of the podcast “Green With Envy” with Will Weir. Yeah, there are probably more effective offensive pairs. Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Kyrie Irving spring to mind. So do Luka Doncic. But White and Holiday’s two-way play, outstanding defensive versatility, and two-way ability more than makeup for any offensive edge they may have.

There should be a strong case for ranking both guards at the top of the guard tandem pyramid given the beneficial impact they have had on the Celtics this season and how they handle their on- and off-ball responsibilities.


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