Joe Mazzulla Sounds Off on Celtics Defense Following Overtime Loss

Joe Mazzulla, Boston Celtics

Getty Joe Mazzulla, Boston Celtics

In their second overtime game of the young NBA season, the Boston Celtics fell short, losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers 113-114.

Speaking to the media following the game, interim head coach Joe Mazzulla shared his thoughts on the Celtics’ inability to limit the Cavaliers’ transition-based offense in the second half of the game.

“I thought we kept our composure. I thought we missed shots on the offensive end. We gave up 16 transition points in the second half, and so, from a composure standpoint, we was fine, it’s just we let go of the rope a little bit as far as making them have to play against our set defense in the second half and they came up with a timely offensive rebound,” Mazzulla said.

Overall, the Celtics’ defense looked vastly improved in the half-court, which is recognizable by the Cavaliers needing an additional period to break 110 points. However, if the Celtics have their sights set on returning to the NBA Finals, they’re going to need to improve their execution down the stretch of close games like the one on November 2.

Jayson Tatum Focusing on The Bigger Picture

Speaking during a post-game press conference following Boston’s November 2 loss, Jayson Tatum noted a key lesson he learned during his trip to the NBA Finals – the message was simple: NBA season is long, and focusing on the bigger picture can help keep things in perspective.

“One thing I’ve realized about being in the Finals is like when you’re all the way playing in June, you realize that stressing about a game in November 2 (shakes head)…Obviously, you want to win every game you play. But, s*** we’ve got 74 more games, take it one game at a time,” Tatum said.

Tatum was impressive despite Boston’s loss, helping his team with 26 points, 12 rebounds, six assists, four blocks, and a steal while shooting 38.1% from the field. However, the St. Louis native did struggle from deep, going just two-of-nine from beyond the perimeter, which will likely be something he looks to rectify in Boston’s November 4 contest against the Chicago Bulls.

Jaylen Brown Details Missing The Game Winner

In the final possession of overtime, Jaylen Brown missed a potential game-winning shot, which occurred just moments before the final whistle. Speaking in his post-game media availability, Brown shared his thoughts on the quality of the shot he got.

“So, the end of regulation, we got the hand back to JT. So, for this one we drew up, we had a lot of space in the middle of the floor, and it was pretty much just give me the ball to make a play, and I came up short…I wish I would have caught it a little closer where I could have got to my spot. I had two seconds, but two seconds is enough time to get a good look, but maybe not. I didn’t love it, but I got a clean look. It’s a makeable shot. I can knock that shot down. I’ve hit it before, just came up short,” Brown said.

Despite missing his final shot of the game, Brown was arguably the Celtics’ most significant attacking threat, providing his team with 30 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and a steal while shooting 38.5% from the field. However, similarly to Tatum, Brown struggled from the perimeter, shooting just three-of-ten from deep, although those shooting struggles appeared to be team-wide throughout the contest.

Boston now sits 4-3 on the season and will risk slipping to .500 if they fail to overcome the Bulls on November 4.

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