Jrue Holiday and Derrick White are critical pieces in a top-notch defensive unit for the Boston Celtics.

And the backcourt tandem was recognized for their defensive prowess Tuesday when Holiday and White were both named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team. It’s the sixth time Holiday made an All-Defensive team in his career and the second straight season White received the honor.

Their importance to Boston’s defense isn’t lost on Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla, who took time before Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals praising Holiday and White for their defensive ability.

“Effort and versatility. They have the ability to guard different guys, different pick-and-roll coverages, pick-and-roll isolations, off-ball,” Mazzulla said. “Two versatile guys that you can put on different matchups and play different schemes with them and gives you a lot of flexibility.”

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The Celtics had the second-best defensive rating in the league in the regular season. While Holiday and White played a big hand in that, but Mazzulla believes the entire team buying-in on that end of the court helped Boston turn into a stout defensive unit.

“Those two guys get the vote, but I think one of the things that’s been great about this year is all the guys and their ability to defend at a high, high level,” Mazzulla said. “Everybody that’s out there takes their matchup personally. This series is going to be a huge test of our defense, team defense and individual defense. Those two guys day in and day out, they guard different guys, they have different matchups, different coverages. The way they impact the game defensively is big for us.”

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Holiday and White will look to continue to be difference-makers defensively in the conference finals against a high-powered Pacers offense, which led the NBA with 123.3 points per game during the regular season.

Featured image via Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports Images