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Pre-Game Notes: Dwane Casey & Brad Stevens on All-Star Voting & more

On the eve of the All-Star starter announcements, let's see what tonight's coaches have to say on the subject.

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The Raptors host the Boston Amir Johnsons tonight at 7:30.

Read Stephen Campbell's game preview hereAnd Michael Hoad has your GameThread.

To hold you over until game time, here's a couple quick notes from Dwane Casey and Brad Stevens' pre-game media scrums.


- Stephen mentioned the threat that is Isaiah Thomas in his preview. Here's what Casey had to say about trying to stop him:

He's one of the quickest players with the basketball in the league. His size doesn't matter. With his speed and quickness he broke our heart here last year ... His speed with the basketball is uncanny, he's got that little hesitation and on top of that he's left handed ... He's one of the hardest guys in the league to guard.

- On whether or not Thomas is on his radar as a potential All-Star

He's having an All-Star caliber season. You look at their team, they're a playoff team, he's the head of the snake. He's the offensive force with that team ... It's difficult. We have a guy in that same position (Kyle Lowry). You've got Kyrie Irving at Cleveland who's the leading vote-getter, so us as coaches are going to have a tough decision to make.

- On whether or not he factors team record into his All-Star choices:

That's probably my biggest criteria is looking at the team record. Like I tell our guys, you can score fifty points a game and have a losing record and you're not gonna make an All-Star with as many good players there are today and as many good teams there are ... That's why Isaiah Thomas has to be in the conversation just because of Boston playing well and winning.

- On Boston / the Eastern Conference's development

The one reason why the Eastern Conference is so good is all the young teams are growing up, are developing their programs. Boston's done a great job ... They've added a few pieces each year but for the most part they've grown from within and they're finally growing up in the Eastern Conference.


- On what he considers when picking All-Star reserves (I wish all coaches spoke like this):

I'll go through the stats, I'll go through how the team is doing and probably the differentiating factor will be who scares me the most ... I look more at efficiency than anything else. I don't get caught up in points per game or rebounds per game or those type of things. I get caught up in efficiency ... I get caught up in rebound percentages ... You have to also factor in fourth quarter and crunch time performance.

- On the All-Star cases of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan.

They're really good. They're gonna be All-Stars. I have no doubt about that.

Raptors vs. Celtics gets going just after 7:30 - don't forget to join the conversation in our GameThread.

Enjoy the game!