Joe Mazzulla didn’t appear to want to indulge in excessive sentimentality on Sunday.
After Ime Udoka’s season-long suspension, Mazzulla was abruptly thrust into the Celtics‘ big chair. Mazzulla made his NBA head coaching debut against the Hornets on Sunday. However, the 34-year-old was all work.
When asked how he felt going into his first game as the head coach, Mazzulla was solely concerned with the task at hand.
“Just continue. He remarked that four good practice days were had. “We are distinct. We are aware of the goal of our game. We know where we’re going, and today is the first step. Steps cannot be skipped. We’ve all stated it, but now it needs to be supported. So I believe that’s really what we’re concentrating on.
Even though it was only a preseason match, Mazzulla’s 134-93 thrashing of the Hornets on Sunday was a reflection of all that has been discovered about him in the past 10 days since being designated the Celtics’ interim coach. He didn’t appear overawed. He had an air of serenity. And as some of his teammates have noted over the first week of training camp, he appeared to be a natural when he initially strolled down the sidelines.
“He was fantastic, in my opinion. I saw him as excellent. He seemed calm to me, “said Malcolm Brogdon. “I think he made some really good plays after the timeout. He did a terrific job, in my opinion. As the regular season approaches and teams start seriously scouting us because we play high-level competition, it will only get harder for him and for us, but I believe that and all of my teammates and have the utmost confidence in him to be ready for that, keep us motivated, and continue to prepare us the right way.
How does Mazzulla perform in a game as the head coach? How does he interact with his team? According to Brogdon, he has a calming demeanor, which is ideal for the stage he’s at.
For my first experience with him today, Brogdon observed, “He’s not a yeller, he’s not a screamer.” He is really deliberate and direct. He doesn’t want you to leave with a clouded mind, so he won’t talk over you or tell you too much. I believe he will be everything an NBA player wants in a coach: very clear and honest about what he expects from you.
It’s obvious that Mazzulla doesn’t want this problem to be about him in particular. As he determines what makes his players comfortable and they develop their identity as a team, he relies on his coaching staff for support and direction, and he preaches teamwork with his players. When offered the chance to discuss how it felt to be an NBA head coach for the first time after the final buzzer, he avoided drawing attention to himself.
According to Mazzulla, “I felt like I was leading a terrific team that wanted to win.” Coaching was enjoyable.
Mazzulla said that his job is special and took a moment to thank everyone, but he didn’t talk too much about how he got his first chance to be a head coach.
Mazzulla merely expressed gratitude for it. Like I said, I’m thankful for the Celtics and grateful that I get to lead a group of outstanding men and athletes, as not many people in my position do. I’m therefore genuinely appreciative rather than doing anything else.
On the surface, Sunday’s game against the Hornets didn’t appear to offer Mazzulla the greatest coaching challenge because the Celtics went on a strong run in the second quarter and never looked back, winning by a score of 41 points. Mazzulla acknowledged making mistakes, though he would not specify what they were, and he predicted there would likely be more as he learned everything on the spot. Even though the C’s won easily on Sunday, he is aware that there is still much to improve.
According to Mazzulla, we have a lot of footage that we can learn from because our players worked hard and attempted to play the proper way. It’s a balance, then. This is a balance between what we accomplished well and what isn’t really important because we need to keep improving.