Ahead of tomorrow night’s clash with the Golden State, the Celtics practiced in Waltham today and for the first time we got a look at DJ White, who will likely make his Celtics debut against the Warriors. White gives the Celtics a desperately-needed big body to reduce the burden on Kevin Garnett and the rest of Boston’s frontline.
White joked that his experience playing in China’s CBA went more smoothly than Terrence Williams’ because he was playing in a Shanghai, a major metropolitan center, and Williams played in “who knows where.”
While White wasn’t negative about his China experience (“Shanghai’s like New York City but a little bigger”) or the lack of an appealing NBA offer at the beginning of the season (he turned out a well-worn “just part of the business” on that one) he sounds relieved to be back in the NBA, and like Williams, eager to capitalize on this new opportunity.
As Brian noted recently, White doesn’t come with a sterling defensive rep but he knows to make good on his second chance, he’ll need to pick up Boston’s defensive schemes quickly. White’s size (6’9″) and strengths (mid-range game) make him a viable candidate to steal minutes from Brandon Bass and Chris Wilcox. Regardless of his immediate impact, White’s presence alone should push the underachieving Bass and Wilcox to up their games, lest they see more pine time down the stretch.
Doc Rivers said the Celtics will continue to keep an eye out for potential international roster additions and buyouts (“We were hoping some of the guys who made the All-Star Team got bought out, but none of them will”) but as the C’s take the court tomorrow night, they’re far closer to the team they’ll be come the playoffs, if still very much a work in progress.
One final note: Rivers said that while Williams’ 10-day-contract ends today, he expects the Celtics to sign him beyond that period although nothing’s been signed yet.