Friday, January 19, 2024

Five Celtics players receive top-10 All-Star votes in third fan returns

Not much has changed for the league-leading 32-9 Celtics, who still have all five of their starters receiving fan votes for the 2024 All-Star Game.

In the third voting returns -- revealed by the NBA Thursday -- five players from Boston remain in the top-10 for each position of either the frontcourt or guards.

Forward Jayson Tatum is third among Eastern Conference frontcourt players with nearly 4 million votes (3,721,311), leading Jimmy Butlers (fourth) by over 2.5 million votes and could possibly catch Joel Embiid (3,721,002) for the second of three starting spots. 

Wing Jaylen Brown and big man Kristaps Porzingis are currently fifth and six respectively for frontcourt players, while Derrick White and Jrue Holiday are seventh and ninth among East guards.

All-Star starters are determined by 50% fan vote, 25% media vote and 25% player vote. Reserves are voted on by all 30 head coaches for the remaining 14 spots.

Tatum has made it the last four straight years and Brown has two nods in 2021 and 2023 respectively. Porzingis made the cut in 2018 and Jrue Holiday holds the league record for the longest drought between All-Star appearances from 2013 (first) and 2023 (second).

While coach Michael Malone might not have a vote when it comes to the East reserves, it didn't stop him for giving his praises to the Celtics ahead of Friday night's matchup against the Denver Nuggets at TD Garden.
"You don't have the best record in the NBA without a lot of guys playing well. We all know Jayson Tatum, a first-team All-NBA player [with] great talent. Jaylen Brown, what he does," Malone said in his pregame presser. "[They're] a hell of a team."
"You look at the additions of Porzingis and Jrue Holiday, two great additions. Porzingis' length, shot-blocking, and tough matchup because at the five, he can come out and shoot the three, he can roll with force, and he can handle the ball. So, a tremendous addition. And Jrue Holiday, to me, is one of the best two-way players in the NBA."
Despite it being a long shot for all five Celtics players to make it, there's a great chance that at least three could head to Indiana for All-Star Weekend, including White -- who has never gotten an opportunity.

Malone also endorsed the "get White to the All-Star Game" campaign, giving him credit for making an impact so far that definitely has not gone unnoticed around the league.
"Derrick White is having an All-Star-caliber year. It's crazy he's averaging one block per game -- and he's a guard. And they lead the league in blocks per game, so give a lot of credit to Derrick. He just continues to find ways to get better and impact winning."
The All-Star starters are set to be announced January 25 and the reserves will be revealed on February 1, with the actual game being played Sunday, February 18 on TNT.  

Joel Pavón

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