By virtue of the 76ers loss to the Magic on Monday night, the Celtics have clinched the best record in the East (36-15) heading towards All-Star Weekend in Utah on February 19th and subsequently, Boston’s interim head coach Joe Mazzulla and his staff will represent the conference and coach Team Giannis.
Mazzulla’s short resume is beyond impressive for the league’s youngest head coach. From the Celtics press release:
The Celtics clinched the best record in the Eastern Conference on Jan. 30 with a 36-15 overall record and own the highest win percentage in the NBA (.706). Boston ranks third in the NBA in points per game (117.8) and owns the highest plus/minus of any team while holding opponents to an average 112.3 points per game.
Mazzulla becomes the eighth coach in Celtics history to be given the honor of coaching an NBA All-Star Game, joining: Brad Stevens (2017), Doc Rivers (2008, 2011), Chris Ford (1991), K.C. Jones (1984-1987), Bill Fitch (1982), Tom Heinsohn (1972-1974, 1976) and Red Auerbach (1957-1967).
He’ll of course join Jayson Tatum in Salt Lake City for the All-Star Weekend festivities. Tatum was voted as a starter last week. Most likely, Jaylen Brown will be voted in as a reserve and announced on Thursday.
If there is ever an inherent challenge to coaching an All-Star Game, the league has built one into the job this year. In addition to juggling minutes and motivation, the teams will be picked just minutes before tip-off by the captains, Antetokounmpo and LeBron James.