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Joe Mazzulla praises his players poise amid All-Star hype

When the 2024 NBA All-Star game tips off on February 18 in Indianapolis,  the Boston Celtics could have quite a few players in attendance. In fact, all five members of the Celtics starting line-up are in the mix to be named to the East All-Stars according to the first round of fan voting that was recently released.

Fans accounts for half of the votes in selecting starters for the game. A player vote and coaches vote each make up 25% of the tally for the annual exhibition. Reserves, meanwhile, are selected by the coaches. At present, that means it looks like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are likely headed to Indiana, but Kristaps Porzingis, Jrue Holiday, and Derrick White all could end up making the team.

After Boston defeated the Jazz Friday night, Celtics Wire asked head coach Joe Mazzulla about how his players are handling the excitement and buzz that comes with this time of year. He explained why he believed any competition or distraction that comes with All-Star voting is constructive for his guys.

“I trust our guys, I trust their character,” Mazzulla said. “I’m sure they’re talking about it. I’m sure there is some level of importance to it.”

Mazzulla isn’t necessarily a fan of accolades, though. He dismissed his own Player of the Month Award Friday night, and as a New England native, Mazzulla knows success is measured in championship banners. Still, he also acknowledged making an All-Star game is a big deal and a worthy honor.

“I don’t want to diminish how important the individual is to the team,” Mazzulla said. “Or the opportunity that they have, or the legacy that making an All Star game offers. So we shouldn’t diminish that at all.”

“So, I’m assuming they’re talking about it,” Mazzulla added. “I’m assuming they want to do it because it is important, and individual accolades are important.”

Mazzulla has some experience on the subject. Last year he served as the head coach for Team Giannis in Salt Lake City at the 2023 All-Star Game.

Two more rounds of fan voting will be announced in the next few weeks before the starters for the game are revealed on January 25 during TNT’s NBA Tip-Off. Coincidentally, the Celtics will be facing the Miami Heat on the road as part of that broadcast. And when the reserves are announced on February 1, also during a TNT broadcast, it will be ahead of Boston’s game at home against the Los Angeles Lakers.

For now, Mazzulla is excited for his players, and believe they are worthy of the hype and recognition. He’s also happy they’re making sure it doesn’t take away from the team’s overall goals.

“They should try to make it,” Mazzula said. “They should talk about it, they should relish, they should go after it. But we should do it in a way that highlights everyone and a way that continues to make the team successful.”

“It takes good individuals to be part of a team,” Mazzulla added. “And I think all five of them are deserving to be an All-Star.”

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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire