Moving on with the “A Study in Green” series, we look back at a CBA import who joined the Boston Celtics on a 10-day contract, and was eventually signed to a multi-year deal in the 2012/13 NBA season. Hello, DJ White.
For a guy who averaged 7.2 minutes a game only because he was on the floor for 28 minutes during the Celtics’ final season game against Toronto, we honestly couldn’t have asked for much more. Despite playing very limited games (and minutes) in the season, DJ did what a bench guy was supposed to do. Play with energy and move without the ball. Share the rock, take the shot when it’s there, and not turn the ball over too much (2 TOs in 12 games).
(Incidentally, this clip showed the Bobcats game I attended on a media pass at the Garden. More tidbits on DJ inside.)
He showed up together with Shavlik Randolph, but it was obvious Randolph became more favoured in Doc’s books as the big man off the bench as the season rolled on. Could he have done more? Maybe, but we will never know. I for one, was pretty happy with him. For a team that sorely lacked size, whatever contributions he gave (4 blocks in one Memphis game!) was more than what our draft big Fab Melo had to offer.
If we really had to pick something and argue about flaws, it would likely be the rebounding.
While his rebounding average wasn’t fantastic (1.1 RPG), DJ delivered rebounds whenever he was on the court for extended stretches. In games where he played short minutes (less than 6 minutes), he more often than not, ended up with no rebounds. If we were to argue that rebounding is all about boxing out, hustling and grabbing that loose ball, 6 minutes (theoretically 12 possessions at least) should be more than enough time to make something happen.
I have always been a slow starter in basketball, Coming off the bench in league games at times, turned me into an insomniac with a massive hangover in the first few minutes of play. Perhaps, DJ just couldn’t “turn it on” and become a rebounding maniac the moment he stepped onto the floor? Not surprising by any stretch of imagination. Or perhaps, it was the defensive rotations that took him out of position for rebounding? No matter the reason, NBA athletes are just human beings, and we cannot expect every guy to be another Dennis Rodman.
At the end of the day, DJ came onto the team to bolster a badly-injured roster. With limited minutes, he did what he was supposed to. While more would have been a real bonus, I honestly do not think any blame could have been placed on the guy. Now that he has been traded to the Nets in the blockbuster Ticket/Truth deal and waived subsequently, we wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavours, and hope that he finds a place to call home in the NBA soon.
What did you think of DJ White’s contribution last season? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Drop a comment and let us know.