After losing 128-102 to the Miami Heat Sunday night, Boston Celtics coach Joe Mazzola got really candid during his post-game press conference. In a game where Boston trailed by as much as 33 points and superstars Jason Tatum and Jaylen Brown combined for just 26 points, the Celtics looked like a complete disaster in a must-win situation. The Heat are out on a mission, while the Celtics have been playing as a team with an extra life.
As a result, not only does Boston face elimination, but the prospect of being knocked out on Tuesday is a very real possibility. He reached catastrophic levels for the Celtics, and after the game, when asked if he thought there was a disconnect between himself and his players, Mazzola gave a very surprising answer.
“Yeah, that’s why I have to be better at knowing what this team needs,” he said. Maz Allah said.
When asked a follow-up question about why he thought there was a disconnect, Mazzola responded with, “I’m not sure.”
This is definitely not what you want to hear from your head coach. Even if it’s true that Celtics players are starting to tune Mazzulla out, it’s not something she’d admit to the media, especially after an embarrassing loss like that one in the postseason.
And Mazzola’s answer also doesn’t bode well for his job security after this season. While the Celtics removed the temporary tag during the regular season and signed him to a long-term contract, that doesn’t mean Boston will be content to keep him around if players really start to sour the guy. This Celtics team came incredibly close to winning a championship highlighted by last season’s trip to the NBA The Finals, and holding on to someone who’s already lost the locker room in year one, isn’t a valuable use of time for a crew that’s a consistent championship contender.
While Mazzulla’s answer could be just another brutally honest response in a line of many similar answers this season, having this still up in the air while his team tries to avoid elimination isn’t great. Now he put his players in a position to respond to what he said, which takes the focus away from trying to extend this series against the Heat as long as possible.
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