Following Sunday night’s 128-102 blowout loss against the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla was very candid during his postgame press conference. In a game where Boston fell behind by 33 points, stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combined for just 26 points, the Celtics looked like an absolute disaster in a must-win situation. The Heat came out on a mission, while the Celtics were playing like a team with extra lives.
As a result, Boston not only faces elimination, but the possibility of being swept on Tuesday is a very real possibility. It has reached catastrophic levels for the Celtics, and when asked after the game if he felt there was a disconnect between himself and his players, Mazzulla gave a rather surprising answer.
“Yeah, that’s why I have to be good at figuring out what this team needs.” Masullah said.
“I’m not sure,” Mazzulla replied when asked a follow-up question about why he thought he was cut.
Definitely not what you want to hear from your head coach. While it’s true that Celtics players are starting to tune out Mazzulla, you won’t admit it to the media.
Mazzulla’s answer doesn’t bode well for his job security beyond this season. Even if the Celtics remove the midterm tag during the regular season and sign him to a long-term deal, that doesn’t mean Boston will be satisfied with keeping the guy around if the players are already starting to sour on the guy. This Celtics team is incredibly close to winning the championship highlighted by last season’s journey. NBA Finals, and keeping around a guy who’s already lost the locker room in Year 1 isn’t worth the time for a roster that’s a consistent championship contender.
While Mazzulla’s response could get another brutally honest response in a line of similar responses this season, it’s no big deal to hang in the air while his team tries to stave off elimination. Now he’s putting his players in a position to respond to what he said, which takes the focus away from trying to extend this streak against the Heat as long as possible.