Speaking to the media following the game, Atlanta’s star point guard, Trae Young, heaped praise on the Celtics, crediting their offensive potency from three-point range as a significant factor in their victory.
“It’s tough, I mean, when you only hit seven (three-pointers) and they hit 21 of them, that’s a lot of points you’ve gotta make up for. You gotta give them credit, they were knocking down a lot of threes, but that’s what they do…I think we were making them make tough shots, and just shoot tough shots. I mean, those guys are going to make shots throughout the whole season, they’re going to get hot, but you just try and make it as tough as you can for them,” Young said.
Boston finished the game with a 45.7% conversion rate on their three-point attempts, knocking down 21-of-46 from beyond the perimeter with Sam Hauser and Payton Pritchard both leading the way from deep. Irrespective of Boston’s two best point guards being on the sidelines, the team found a way to keep the ball moving, allowing them to continuously find the open man for easy shot attempts.
Joe Mazzulla Heaps Praise on Celtics Execution
If you include Robert Williams, the Celtics were missing three primary members of their core rotation against the Hawks, but still found a way to play at a high level and defeat a solid Eastern Conference opponent.
Following the victory, interim head coach, Joe Mazzulla spoke glowingly of his team, crediting their ability to hone into their game plan and execute their points of emphasis at a high level.
“I think it’s just constantly focus on what did you do well, and what you didn’t do well, and where you can improve. And so I think, regardless of the result, I was upset after some of the wins, and I was happy after one of the losses. And so, I think it’s more about are we executing? Are we focused on the rights things? And, are we getting better every single day? And, our guys focus, they execute, and when we make something an emphasis, they do a good job of working on it – a great job,” Mazzulla said on November 16.
Under Mazzulla’s guidance, the Celtics have been arguably the best offensive team in the NBA, currently sit first in the league’s offensive ratings, and boast a significant win streak that doesn’t look like ending anytime soon.
Mazzulla Could Be Celtics Long-Term Head Coach
According to ESPN’s NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski, Joe Mazzulla is proving himself as a head coach and is likely going to become Boston’s long-term answer to replacing the suspended Ime Udoka long-term.
“Everything is aligned and in place for Joe Mazzulla to be the long-term coach for the Boston Celtics, except one thing – Ime Udoka is technically still the head coach of the Boston Celtics on suspension…But for all intents and purposes, he has coached his last game in Boston. This is uncharted territory,” Wojnarowski said.