Derrick White

NBA Announces 2023/24 All-Defensive Teams

The NBA has officially announced its All-Defensive teams for the 2023/24 season (Twitter link).

A total of 99 media members voted on the All-Defensive awards, with players receiving two points for a First Team vote and one point for a Second Team vote. This year’s All-Defensive teams are as follows:

First Team

Second Team

Gobert, who won this season’s Defensive Player of the Year award, was the only unanimous First Team selection, earning all 99 possible First Team votes.

No other players showed up on every ballot, though Wembanyama appeared on 98, receiving 86 First Team nods. Wembanyama is the first rookie in NBA history to claim a spot on an All-Defensive First Team, according to the NBA (Twitter link). Five rookies previously made a Second Team.

All-Defensive voting was positionless for the first time this season, which is why four big men – Gobert, Wembanyama, Adebayo, and Davis – were permitted to be named to the First Team. Jones, a forward, was the only non-center to earn First Team recognition, whereas the Second Team was made up entirely of guards and forwards.

The Timberwolves and Celtics – who ranked first and second, respectively, in regular season defensive rating – were the only teams to have more than one All-Defensive player in 2023/24. McDaniels was a Second Team selection, joining Gobert, while the Celtics’ backcourt duo of White and Holiday also made the Second Team. Both White ($250K) and Holiday ($139,200) earned bonuses as a result of making an All-Defensive team, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link).

The rookie scale extension McDaniels signed last fall actually includes an All-Defensive bonus as well, Marks tweets, but since that contract doesn’t go into effect until this July, the Timberwolves’ perimeter stopper won’t cash in on that $431,035. That incentive is now considered “likely” instead of “unlikely” for next season though, as Marks notes, increasing McDaniels’ cap hit to $23,017,242.

Outside of the top 10, the players who received the most All-Defensive votes were Thunder wing Luguentz Dort (34 points, including six First Team votes), Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (29 points), Thunder center Chet Holmgren (21 points), Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen (20 points), and Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (19 points).

Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (six), Celtics swingman Jaylen Brown (three), and Kings teammates Domantas Sabonis and De’Aaron Fox (one apiece) were the other players who received First Team votes. In total, 34 players earned at least one First Team or Second Team vote.

Players were required to meet the 65-game criteria in order to qualify for All-Defensive honors this season. Knicks forward OG Anunoby, Warriors big man Draymond Green, and Cavaliers big man Evan Mobley – each of whom made an All-Defensive team last spring – were among the standout defenders who didn’t reach that games-played minimum in 2023/24.

Celtics Notes: Porzingis, Pritchard, White, Holiday, Brown

Kristaps Porzingis conducted a light workout on the court on Monday morning, according to Brian Robb of However, the Celtics big man will miss his sixth consecutive game on Wednesday as he works his way back from a right calf strain, Tim Bontemps of ESPN tweets. The Celtics can advance to the Eastern Conference finals with a Game 5 victory over the Cavaliers.

“It’s always great to have him around and we know he’s doing everything he can to get back as quickly and safely as possible,” Derrick White told Robb.

We have more on the Celtics:

  • Backup guard Payton Pritchard, who signed a four-year, $30MM rookie scale extension in October, has scored in double digits in three of the four games against Cleveland. He delivered 11 points in 26 minutes on Monday, including a pivotal 3-pointer late in the third quarter. With just five turnovers in four games, Pritchard has also been a steady ball-handling presence in the backcourt, Robb notes. “I thought Payton’s confidence, and becoming a really good two-way player, just affecting the game both offensively and defensively,” coach Joe Mazzulla said.
  • With Cavs star guard Donovan Mitchell sidelined in Game 4, the Celtics guards focused their attention on Darius Garland, Jared Weiss of The Athletic notes. Though Garland scored 30 points, he needed to take 27 shots to reach that figure with White and Jrue Holiday guarding him. “I’m just thankful those guys are on our team,” Jayson Tatum said of Holiday and White. “The intangible things they do on the defensive end night in and night out, whether it’s chasing shooters around, or fighting through screens, or coming over the top and contesting shots. They do it however long they’re in the game. They’re really the anchor of our defense.”
  • Jaylen Brown is averaging 26.5 points per game in the series, including a 27-point output in Game 4. He wasn’t bashful when discussing his offensive prowess during the series, Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe tweets. “I don’t think anybody over there can really guard me,” he said.

Celtics Notes: Cavaliers Series, Defense, Kornet, White

The Celtics fell to the Cavaliers, 118-94, in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Thursday, allowing Cleveland to shoot 46.4% from beyond the arc on 28 three-point attempts. Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe opines that this was more than a case of the Celtics simply missing shots and allowing the Cavs to get hot — they were neutralized by the presence of Evan Mobley.

After getting blown out in Game 1, the Cavaliers ran through Mobley, who finished with 21 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Donovan Mitchell scored 29 points while Caris LeVert contributed 21 off the bench. It was Cleveland’s first road playoff win in six years. Nothing was working for the Celtics, Washburn writes, beyond getting Jayson Tatum to the free-throw line (11 attempts), while Derrick White and Jrue Holiday ran cold (14 combined points).

I think when you lose a game like that, it could be a combination of tactics, a combination of effort, a combination of all those things,” head coach Joe Mazzulla said. “You treat it the same way you would a win, you come in, watch the film and you get better for Game 3.”

In a similar piece, Danny Chau of The Ringer analyzes Boston’s postseason, writing that Tatum hasn’t been the best version of himself through the first seven Celtics playoff games.

Nobody in [the locker room was] defeated or deflated,” Tatum said. “You never want to lose, especially in the playoffs. A lot of things we can learn from. We get it, right? The world thinks we’re never supposed to lose. We’re supposed to win every game by 25. And it’s just not going to be like that all the time.

We have more from the Celtics:
  • This is the second straight Game 2 in which the Celtics’ opponents got hot from beyond the arc and defeated Boston on its home floor, Jared Weiss of The Athletic writes. After Mitchell made five of his seven threes and 10 of his 19 shots on the night, guard Jaylen Brown said Boston had no excuse for allowing him to heat up. “It’s the playoffs, that can’t happen. I don’t care if you’re missing shots, you’ve got to guard the guy on the other end,” Brown said. “That allows you to miss more shots if you’re playing defense. But you can’t miss shots and then allow them to make shots at the other end. That was unacceptable.
  • Boston’s starters were taken out of the game with about five minutes left in regulation in Game 2, Jay King of The Athletic observes, with the team looking ahead to Game 3. “I just felt like that was the best thing to do at that particular time,” Mazzulla said. “We have another game coming up soon.” King writes how the Celtics respond will be most indicative of their ability to — or lack thereof — to win a championship.
  • Though he didn’t make a big impact in Game 2, backup center Luke Kornet was a huge reason why Boston blew out Cleveland in Game 1 of the series, MassLive’s Brian Robb writes. Kornet, who took on a larger role due to Kristaps Porzingis‘ absence, recorded four points, 10 rebounds and a pair of blocks in the victory, sparking the Celtics bench.
  • Like Kornet, White had a quieter Game 2 but was integral to Boston’s Game 1 success. White recorded 25 points and five assists in Game 1 while knocking down seven threes. In a separate piece, Weiss explores how White’s shooting is crucial to unlocking the Celtics’ offense. “It’s important because it means usually the shots he takes are because we’re either out in transition, we’ve set really good screens and he has that [look], or there are two-on-ones and we’re making extra passes,” Mazzulla said. “So I think when those guys get more and more shots, it means we’re getting to the different layers of our offense which is important against a team like [Cleveland].

Celtics Notes: Porzingis, Horford, White, Tatum

Holding a commanding 3-1 lead against an injury-riddled Heat team, the Celtics may not need any more contributions from Kristaps Porzingis to get through the first round of the playoffs. But Boston’s odds of winning a title this spring would take a serious hit without a healthy Porzingis available in future rounds.

After the Celtics announced on Tuesday that Porzingis would miss Game 5 on Wednesday due to a right soleus (calf) strain and Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the big man is expected to miss multiple games, Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe clarifies (via Twitter) that no one considers it to be a season-ending injury.

According to Himmelsbach, the Celtics have yet to provide a specific timeline for Porzingis’ recovery and potential return because they want to see how he responds to treatment first.

Appearing on FanDuel’s Run it Back show on Wednesday morning (Twitter video link), Shams Charania of The Athletic said he expects the club to treat the soleus strain like a “week-to-week” injury, suggesting that Porzingis might end up missing just a week or two, though there’s a chance he’ll be sidelined for longer than that.

Here’s more on the Celtics as they prepare for a possible close-out game at home vs. the Heat:

  • For as long as Porzingis is unavailable, Al Horford is expected to move into the starting lineup, with Luke Kornet and Xavier Tillman acting as his primary backups at the five, writes Jay King of The Athletic. As King observes, Horford played 21 of the final 24 minutes in Game 4 following Porzingis’ exit, but that level of workload likely won’t be sustainable for the 37-year-old on a regular basis going forward, so the team will need effective minutes from its reserves.
  • Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Jrue Holiday, and Porzingis combined to shoot just 17-of-47 (36.2%) from the field in Game 4, but Derrick White‘s 38 points on 15-of-26 shooting helped propel the team to victory. In a separate story for The Athletic, King takes a look at White’s career night and details why his teammates want to see him continue to seek out his own offense. “When he’s being aggressive it just opens everything up,” Tatum said. “Whatever they’re trying to take away, maybe for myself, when your teammates are hitting shots and being aggressive and attacking closeouts and making plays, it really makes us very, very hard to guard. You want everybody to be assertive and be aggressive and try to make plays. It just makes us a better team.”
  • As we relayed on Tuesday, Tatum turned an ankle during the fourth quarter of Game 4 when he came down on Bam Adebayo‘s foot while attempting a jump shot after a whistle (Twitter video link). The star forward was ultimately fine, but Horford wasn’t happy about Adebayo contesting Tatum’s shot and getting into his landing area during a dead ball. “I know that we get to playing around and trying to contest shots after fouls and things like that, but there’s levels to contest,” Horford said, per Souichi Terada of “And if a guy shooting and the play is over with, just kind of let him be. I know he’s trying to compete over there, but I was just mad. I don’t want to see any of my guys get hurt or anything like that. Thankfully, JT is fine, but it could have been bad.”

Atlantic Notes: Embiid, Sixers, Holiday, Celtics, Raptors

While some star players may play reduced roles in the final days of the regular season to ensure they’re fresh for the postseason, Sixers center Joel Embiid is looking to go in the opposite direction. After logging nearly 36 minutes on Tuesday in his fourth game back following a knee procedure, Embiid suggested he’d welcome a big workload again on Friday and Sunday, per Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer (subscription required).

“Playing as many minutes as possible,” Embiid said when asked what he needs to do to get ready for the playoffs. “.. The next one, I hope the game’s not close, but if it is, to go over that 35-minute mark. Try and get to 40 and then the last game of the season, same thing.”

While the 76ers won’t want to push their franchise player too hard so soon after his return, they’re still battling for positioning in the Eastern Conference playoff race and have a chance to claim a top-six spot with victories in their final two games. Embiid is also still working on getting his conditioning back to its pre-injury level and may get a chance this weekend to build chemistry with a relatively healthy Sixers roster.

“We haven’t played with the full crew yet,” Nicolas Batum said on Tuesday, according to Pompey. “I think the next game will be finally the one. We will have Tyrese (Maxey) and KL (Kyle Lowry) back. We got Joel. We just miss RoCo (Robert Covington). … I think we are more focused on (players returning than seeding). We are focused on how we can be the best team past (Sunday).”

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • In a mailbag for The Philadelphia Inquirer (subscription required), Pompey addresses several Sixers-related topics, indicating that he doesn’t expect Tobias Harris to be moved to the bench and confirming that Paul George is expected to be the team’s top free agent target this offseason.
  • Jrue Holiday will turn 34 this June, so he knows that the four-year, $135MM extension he signed with the Celtics this week could be his last NBA contract, according to Jared Weiss of The Athletic. Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Holiday said it was a “pretty easy” decision to sign that deal and to remain in Boston. “I think mutually we just came to an agreement and felt like this was what was best for not only me, but for the team and, just hope it works,” Holiday said. “I want to be here. I want to win multiple rings. I’ve heard people say that here plenty of times, so I’m ready for that.”
  • Holiday’s extension ensures that the Celtics‘ top six players will be under contract for next season and reduces the team’s projected 2025 tax bill, but it raises some questions about the club’s long-term cap situation, according to Brian Robb of, who explores the possibility of an eventual extension for Derrick White and considers how long Boston can keep its core intact.
  • Who’s to blame for a miserable Raptors season? Michael Grange of explores that question, ultimately suggesting that Toronto’s front office probably deserves more criticism than it has received for the current state of the team.

Celtics Notes: Holiday, Brown, White, Tatum

A harrowing family experience in 2016 helped Jrue Holiday keep things in perspective when he got the surprise news that he had been traded from Milwaukee to Portland last summer, writes Mirin Fader of The Ringer. Eight years ago, Holiday’s wife, Lauren, was diagnosed with a brain tumor while she was pregnant with their first child. Holiday took a leave from the NBA to care for Lauren, and she was able to deliver the baby and later have the tumor safely removed.

Holiday said dealing with that type of life-and-death situation gave him a calmness to accept any basketball fate. He embraced the change, even though his family was settled in Milwaukee and he expected his long-term future to be there after helping the Bucks win the 2021 championship.

“I think it helped me prepare for [the trade],” he said. “Life does hit you in different types of ways at different times, and maybe just subconsciously you learn this lesson. … I know some people get down on life … but I think for me, and I don’t know why—maybe it is because of the support of my family, maybe it is because of my faith — but it’s always turned out to be something that I grew from and made me so much stronger.”

Holiday didn’t have to figure out his future in Portland, as the Trail Blazers dealt him to the Celtics five days later. He welcomed the chance to join another veteran team with title hopes, but he knew he had to figure out the best way to fit in.

“Every team is a puzzle,” Holiday said. “And I’m a part of that puzzle. … So whatever the team needs from me: Some nights it might be scoring, some nights it might be shooting corner threes or being a decoy. It might be setting screens or rebounding. I think that just comes with the type of talent and character that we have on this team.”

There’s more from Boston:

  • Jaylen Brown is a legitimate candidate for All-Defensive honors, although he might get overlooked because the Celtics have so many high-level defenders, observes Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports. Forsberg notes that Brown reminded voters of his defensive prowess on Saturday when he held Zion Williamson to 1-of-6 shooting with three turnovers as the primary defender on the Pelicans star.
  • The $500K bonus that Derrick White earned by reaching 185 made three-pointers will affect Boston’s cap figure this season and in 2024/25, according to Brian Robb of MassLive. With tax penalties included, Robb estimates that White’s bonus will cost the team more than $1.5MM this year, although he adds that ownership shouldn’t mind paying extra for White’s breakout performance. White has the same bonus in his contract for next season and it’s now considered likely, so his cap hit will be raised to about $20.6MM.
  • Celtics players weren’t happy with the way they finished the regular season last year and they’re determined not to repeat that mistake, per Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. “I think last year we were like so antsy to get back to the Finals that we had a few bad losses in the last few weeks of the season,” Jayson Tatum said. “We went to six games in that first-round [series against the Hawks]. We may have took some things for granted. This year we’ve done a really good job of not skipping steps and respecting every day, every game, just trying to get better, as cliché as that sounds.”

Celtics Notes: Williams, White, Brown, Hauser

Hornets big man Grant Williams has fond memories of his days with the Celtics, Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe writes. Williams was moved to Dallas in a sign-and-trade transaction last offseason. He was then dealt to Charlotte at the trade deadline.

“That’s where I was first drafted; that’s the team that believed in me,” Williams said. “I had so many great memories of the team there, the players there, the organization and the city. I’m thankful just to be able to go back and be well received. Honestly, I loved my time in Boston and I loved those years. I enjoyed the experience there and now it’s a matter of when I go back, trying your best to keep your emotions in and compete and that’s something I’ll have to do for the rest of my career.”

Charlotte will play at Boston on April 12.

We have more on the Celtics:

  • Derrick White earned a $500K bonus by surpassing 185 three-pointers made this season, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets. The bonus was deemed unlikely before the season, so Boston will have an additional $500K charged toward its team salary. White’s cap hit for 2024/25 is now adjusted to $20,071,429.
  • Jaylen Brown sat out Monday’s game against Charlotte due to a hand sprain, Jared Weiss of The Athletic tweets. The good news is the coach Joe Mazzulla said Brown’s injury is minor and he was held out as a precaution, Washburn tweets.
  • Sam Hauser had his second biggest output of the season against the Hornets in Boston’s 118-104 win. He knocked down seven three-pointers while scoring 25 points, Steve Reed of The Associated Press notes. Boston holds a club option on Hauser’s $2.09MM contract for next season. “I think just layers of our offense is what unleashes him,” Mazzulla said. “The guys understand that he’s a weapon in different ways, and so when we get to the second and third layer of our offense, especially when teams are guarding us a certain way, it really unleashes guys like Sam. And his teammates continuing to trust him and find him within the layers of our offense.”

Anthony Davis, Derrick White Named Players Of The Week

Lakers big man Anthony Davis and Celtics guard Derrick White have been named the NBA’s players of the week for the Western Conference and Eastern Conference, respectively, the league announced today (via Twitter).

Despite being voted an All-Star and building a strong case for an All-NBA spot, Davis hadn’t yet earned a Player of the Week nod this season. He earns the honor this week after leading the Lakers to victories over the Hawks, Sixers, and Pacers, averaging 27.0 points, 16.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 2.0 blocks in those three games and shooting 68.6% from the field.

With the 3-0 week, Los Angeles now holds a 2.5-game lead over Golden State for the No. 9 spot in the Western standings, though the Lakers remain 2.5 games back of the Kings and Mavericks, who currently rank seventh and eighth in the conference.

It’s also the first Player of the Week award this season for White, whose Celtics had a 4-0 week to extend their current win streak to nine games. White often gets overlooked on a roster that also features Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Jrue Holiday, and Kristaps Porzingis, but put up big numbers in Boston’s four most recent wins, averaging 20.3 PPG, 8.8 APG, and 6.5 RPG.

Davis beat out fellow nominees Devin Booker, Anthony Edwards, Jalen Green, and Domantas Sabonis in the West, according to the NBA (Twitter link). Jalen Brunson, Damian Lillard, Pascal Siakam, and White’s teammate Payton Pritchard were the other players nominated in the East.

Celtics Notes: Holiday, Hauser, Pritchard, White

Boston has all but secured the No. 1 seed in the East, holding an 11-game lead on second-place Milwaukee with 12 games left on the team’s schedule.

As Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe writes (subscription required), the Celtics have been resting some of their top players over the past week to be cautious — for example, Jayson Tatum missed Friday’s game vs. Detroit with what was officially called a right ankle impingement, but there’s no indication it’s anything serious.

However, veteran guard Jrue Holiday, who missed his third straight game on Friday with a sprained right AC joint in his shoulder, does not fall into that category. Holiday tells Himmelsbach he’s been experiencing “dead arm” following a hard screen from Wizards center Richaun Holmes last Sunday (Twitter video link).

The two-time All-Star has been getting treatment for the injury, which requires rest to heal, per Himmelsbach. While Holiday says he’s starting to feel better, there’s no timeline for his return. Despite the team’s sizeable lead in the standings, he’s eager to get back on the court.

I still want to play,” Holiday said. “That’s part of the reason I play basketball. But it’s also keeping rhythm. Sometimes when you’re out for a long time you break rhythm, but I feel like I’ve been in a good groove and I want to continue to play.”

Here’s more on the Celtics:

  • Backup forward Sam Hauser missed a couple games with an ankle sprain he sustained vs. Washington, but he returned to action in Friday’s victory, Himmelsbach adds in the same story. The third-year sharpshooter says he was relieved the injury wasn’t more serious. “It didn’t feel great, that’s for sure,” he said. “I didn’t know what to expect or how it was going to feel in the days to come, but it’s felt pretty good throughout the week.”
  • Giving Payton Pritchard a four-year, $30MM rookie scale extension last offseason is looking like a shrewd decision by the Celtics, according to Brian Robb of MassLive, who says the fourth-year guard has outperformed that deal this season, though the extension doesn’t begin until 2024/25. “Payton’s been great, and I’m not surprised, to be honest,” Jaylen Brown said. “Some guys just got a certain mentality they carry themselves with. Payton is somebody you don’t worry about. Even in the lowest of times he’s a hard worker and his mindset is phenomenal in terms of a relentless, never-give-up warrior-type mentality. So you put him out there, I’m not surprised at anything we’re seeing now. It’s just now the work is coming to fruition.” Pritchard has been logging major minutes of late with Holiday injured and is arguably playing his best basketball of the season.
  • Guard Derrick White met the 65-game criteria for postseason awards on Friday, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. White earned a spot on the All-Defensive Second Team in 2022/23 and is having another excellent campaign. White has three pending bonuses, Marks notes — the 29-year-old will earn $250K if he makes another All-Defensive team, $500K if he makes at least 185 threes (he’s currently at 172), and $500K if he appears in 70 games.
  • Robb of MassLive lists four takeaways from Friday’s blowout victory, including a big night for Brown, who finished with 33 points on 13-of-19 shooting.

Celtics Notes: Tatum, Brown, Tillman, Roster Opening

Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla recently started adjusting the rotation patterns and responsibilities for his two star wings, writes Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. For most of the season, Jayson Tatum had been getting his first rest about six minutes into the game while Jaylen Brown typically played the entire first quarter. Brown then started the second quarter on the bench while Tatum ran the second team. Those roles often reversed in the second half.

Himmelsbach notes that Tatum played the entire second half in last Saturday’s win over Phoenix. In their rematch on Thursday, Brown rested first, while Tatum was on the court for all of the first quarter. Tatum saw just five minutes in the second quarter as Brown played the entire time.

“It’s both of them were having constant, free-flowing conversation throughout the game,” Mazzulla explained. “Credit to them for just kind of trusting the staff on the decision that was made at the time, but there’s a few things that go into it. Obviously, if one of them is playing really well, you want to keep that. [On Thursday] we changed the pattern so we could keep the matchups that we wanted later in the half, later in the quarter. So it’s just a thing that, at first, is in the best interest of them. And then the next best thing is how can we make sure we’re taking advantage of the matchups having the right lineup?”

There’s more from Boston:

  • Xavier Tillman has seen his playing time steadily increase since being acquired in a trade with Memphis last month, Himmelsbach adds. The Celtics brought Tillman along slowly because he was dealing with left knee soreness at the time of the deal, and they wanted to give him time to learn a new system. He appears to have claimed a consistent rotation role, averaging 22.2 minutes in the last two games. “Just being patient, waiting for him to understand the language, understand the dynamics of it,” Mazzulla said. “Obviously, the staff has done a great job getting on the floor with him, walking him through all of the rules and areas. And just him hearing it in the first few shootarounds and film sessions and getting a clear understanding of what expectations are.”
  • The Celtics are in no hurry to fill their open roster spot, Brian Robb of MassLive states in a mailbag column. Another salary will add to the team’s tax bill, so there are financial benefits to carrying just 14 players for a while longer. The roster is mostly healthy, and the team would prefer to have flexibility with the open spot in case someone does get hurt. Robb observes that the only intrigue regarding the opening is whether the team will wait until the last day of the regular season or sign someone earlier to give them time to get acclimated. He notes that won’t be an issue if the spot ultimately goes to a two-way player such as Neemias Queta.
  • Kristaps Porzingis will miss his fifth straight game on Sunday against Washington with a strained right hamstring and Derrick White will sit out with a strained left hand, per Souichi Terada of MassLive. Tatum and Brown are listed as questionable with minor injuries, and Terada notes that Boston is likely to be careful with its players entering a stretch of five games in seven days.