Derrick White's Celtics ascent puts Hawks, rest of NBA on notice

When Celtics guard Derrick White went to the free throw line for his 25th and 26th points of the game, the TD Garden crowd chanted "MVP" typically designated for teammate Jayson Tatum.

"So, that's what it feels like?" White questioned Tatum following the 119-106 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.

Tatum's Celtics have taken a 2-0 advantage in their first-round playoff series. "I guess so."

White rediscovered that he belongs with the Celtics during his first complete season with the team, and the Boston crowd confirmed this.

White's basketball trajectory is unlike that of Tatum and the vast majority of NBA players. As a senior in high school, weighing barely 155 pounds,

he did not receive any scholarship offers and had to settle for a stipend from Division II University of Colorado Colorado Springs.

Transferring to the DI campus in Boulder required three years and a late growth spurt. White secured one of a handful of invitations to a showcase

for graduating seniors weeks before the 2017 draft combine, where the San Antonio Spurs saw enough to draft him 29th overall.