Celtics’ Warned Against ‘Living By The Three’ Ahead of Playoffs

Joe Mazzulla, Boston Celtics

Getty Joe Mazzulla, Boston Celtics

Every NBA coach has their own style, and for the Boston Celtics, Joe Mazzulla likes them to fire away from deep as often as possible.

For the most part, Mazzulla’s system has worked well for a Celtics team teeming with perimeter-scoring talent. However, we’ve seen that strategy fall flat at times too. According to Bleacher Report’s Mo Dakhil, the Celtics’ persistence from deep could become their undoing in the playoffs unless they add versatility to their scoring profile.

“Being a heavy three-point shooting team means the Celtics do not take a lot of two-point field goals. Boston is 29th in two-point field goal attempts,” Dakhil wrote. “Even more troublesome, the Celtics do not take a lot of shots at the rim. According to Cleaning the Glass, they are 25th in attempts at the rim. Averaging so many more threes than twos makes the team easier to defend. If multiple Celtics hit a cold streak from deep, that could spell doom for Boston’s hopes of getting to the Finals again.”

Fortunately for the Celtics, they have enough guard and wing depth to sustain getting to the rim more and boast some of the most fearsome slashers and dribble penetrators in the league in the form of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Malcolm Brogdon, among others.

Joe Mazzulla Relishing Playoff Challenge

Shortly after the Celtics defeated the Atlanta Hawks on April 9, Heavy on Sports’ Steve Bulpett spoke with Mazzulla regarding his mindset heading into the playoffs – the first postseason he will coach in the NBA.

“Listen, you can’t run away from the fact that the playoffs have a different consequence,” Mazzulla said.  “But the bigger things are, the more simple they are. So my goals are to do the same things I’ve done all season — rely on my staff, rely on the players and rely on the experience that I’ve had, because I’ve worked for great people.”

As Boston traverses the postseason, Mazzulla will face some significant coaching challenges, which could potentially begin with a first-round series against the Miami Heat and the talented coaching skill of Erik Spoelstra, who many view as the best head coach in the NBA at present.

Grant Williams Focused on Winning a Championship

Since the 2022-23 NBA season got underway, Celtics fans have been discussing the impending restricted free agency of Grant Williams and whether he will remain with the team beyond the current season.

During a recent interview with Sam Yip of HoopsHype, Williams revealed that his current focus is on helping the Celtics win a championship rather than worrying about his future beyond this season.

“Nah, you got to focus on today, brother,” Williams said. “You can’t focus on tomorrow, can only focus on what’s in front of you. For me, it’s always been about playing to the best ability that I can and winning as many titles as I can while I’m here. So after that, whatever happens, this free agency cycle, that’ll be determined this summer after, hopefully, we got the ring in my hand. So that’s the main priority. No. 1 is focused on getting this ring first.”

Williams has endured a topsy-turvy season thus far, starting the year off hot before significantly cooling down after the All-Star break. However, Celtics fans will be hoping to see Williams back at his best as the postseason progresses.

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