Joe Mazzulla and the Boston Celtics are on the edge of misery
Joe Mazzulla and Erik Spoelstra were a controversial matchup between two coaches dedicated to film study. Spoelstra famously began his illustrious coaching career as a video coordinator the Miami Heat in 1995. Joe Mazzulla is more of a pure cinephile. One of the more interesting glimpses into Joe Mazzulla’s tightly guarded personality is that he is apparently watching The city four times a week.
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For the uninitiated, The city basically it is Good Will Hunting remade into an action thriller. According to Malcolm Brogdon, it is The ride-or-die mentality has become a mantra for the Celtics this season.
After Boston’s Game 7 against the Philadelphia 76ers, Mazzulla wore it a “whose car shall we take it?” to the press conference after the match, a reference to scene in which Ben Affleck’s Doug tells his pathological, violent confidant Jem that they’re going to hurt some people and no questions asked. Without hesitation, Jem simply replied that he was asking about the car. Jem was his definitionStay ready, you don’t have to prepare.”
If only Mazzulla could have instilled that in the Celtics. After a miserable Game 3 blowout, the Celtics could dive into the video and dissect what went wrong, or they could throw the tape away, watch it again The city armed robbery chase scene, and return refreshed. Unfortunately, Mazzulla chose the wrong Affleck movie to unite the Celtics. The city part of the Sad Affleck collection. The dejected Affleck is Boston’s patron saint of sadness. in Beantown dialect, the name literally means Ben Ah-fuckwhich succinctly describes the hole these Celts dug themselves into.
When the Celtics win, their fans are smug personifications of Red Auerbach smoking a victory cigar. However, according to ESPN Analytics, the Celtics ecosystem that recognizes their season will likely end after they have a 97 percent chance of beating the No. 8 seed.
And Mazzulla’s early comebacks have Boston excited. On several occasions this postseason, Mazzulla has opted to hold timeouts on opposing teams’ runs instead of stopping momentum. Against Philly, Mazzulla admitted that he was on the road for Boston in Game 4 because he didn’t using a timeout to set up their final estate. In Spoelstra’s infamous 2-3 zone, the offense struggled, and Boston’s stars couldn’t find a rhythm. In Miami’s zone, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are jammed worse than Jem jammed one shootout with the police after the city’s climactic heist goes awry. Suffice it to say, it didn’t end well.
Miami won the first two games in Boston, then returned home to South Beach with an invigorated supporting cast. Bam Adebayo and Duncan Robinson fed off excellent D-Wade and Shaq-esque chemistry, Cody Zeller’s stocky wingspan led to shots on the backboard, and Caleb Martin once again went wild in his minutes. Jimmy Butler had only 16 points.
Boston responded with equal urgency after halftime The city cop who tripped them up on the run and wisely looked the other way, trailing by more than 30 at one point in the second half. In the last quarter, the Celtics bench became a mausoleum as the Heat continued to pour on their reserves.
On Ah-fuck misery scale, losing Game 1 was less of an annoyance than with Affleck pondering his existence while listening to a relevant question Batman vs. Superman dire reviews, Mazzulla’s Celtics showed up in Miami unprepared as they prepared to finish the job in this Finals. Affleck stares sadly at the ocean on a gloomy morning.
During media availability after the game, Mazzulla deflected the blame onto himself. “They just weren’t ready to play,” Mazzulla said in his presser. “I’ve got to get them in a better place to be ready to play and that’s up to me.” This series is a low point and game 3 is at its lowest point.
If anything, Spo’s growth is proof that a young coach has persevered through the turbulence. More than a decade ago, there was a league-wide feeling that Spoelstra’s inexperience hindered the rise of the LeBron/D-Wade/Bosh Heatles. When the Heat lost to the Mavs in 2011, those antics intensified. That all changed as, over the next three years, Spoelstra helped usher in the positionless era.
However, Spoelstra’s situation in 2010 was not nearly as sensitive as Mazzulla’s. On the one hand, Mazzulla was a last-minute replacement for Ime Udoka, who was suspended right before the training camp. He tried to put his stamp on the crime more but at the expense of Udoka’s historical defense. He started Derrick White for Game 3 and moved Robert Williams back to the bench, a lineup change the team had been pushing for all season until Game 6 of the semifinal series against Philly.
Most importantly, the hallowed Celtics have been trying to get back to that championship high for more than 25 years, and the bumps in the road since then have them more excited than ever. Losing the series is a formality. The NBA never had one bloody socks moment of ‘04 Red Sox. We’ve seen this scenario 149 times. No team in NBA history has ever been able to overcome a 0-3 deficit. Mazzulla walks on a razor’s edge and is on the verge of being run out of town. Either way, the Celtics are coming back to Boston. Mazzulla just needs to figure out how to give them some fight to force a Game 5. Easier said than done.
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