Celtics Coach Sends Strong Message on Heat After Gutsy Comeback Win

Joe Mazzulla interim head coach of the Boston Celtics. Mazzulla discussed his team's tough loss to the Miami Heat.

Getty Joe Mazzulla interim head coach of the Boston Celtics. Mazzulla discussed his team's tough loss to the Miami Heat.

The January 24 matchup between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics was a tight one. Miami managed to claw back from a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter, ripping off a 15-0 run over the reigning Eastern Conference champs. The gutsy 98-95 win for the Heat for marked their 15th in the last 22 games.

After watching his team absolutely melt down the stretch, Celtics Interim Head Coach Joe Mazzulla spoke to the press about the tough battle against the Heat.

”It was just two good teams out there playing,” Mazzulla said via NBC Sports Boston. ”They made a few more plays at the end than we did.”

The Rhode Island native discussed how Miami’s zone changed the game in the fourth quarter.

“They went to their zone and we didn’t have the spacing we needed,” he explained. “We didn’t get the looks we should have. I thought we had the right personnel on the floor, against the zone, we just didn’t get the looks we should’ve gotten.”

He’s right. Once the Heat started playing zone defense, Boston couldn’t buy a basket. They made just 3 of their 14 attempts in the final eight minutes of play.

Clippers Interested In Heat’s Kyle Lowry: Report

With the Heat playing more consistent basketball as of late, the front office has some tough decisions to make ahead of the February 9 NBA Trade Deadline. Do they want to improve the roster, or sell off aging pieces like Kyle Lowry?

If they were interested in dealing Lowry, they’d have at least one team that’d be interested, according to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor.

In a January 24 article, O’Connor listed off a few players that the Los Angeles Clippers have interest in making a trade for. Amongst them was the 36-year-old Heat guard.

“League sources say the Clippers are also interested in Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet,” he wrote. “Lowry makes $28.3 million, and his decline with the Heat has been even more apparent this season than (Mike) Conley’s dip with the Jazz. Conley ranks 84th in our Top 100 NBA Player Rankings, while Lowry fell out entirely in the most recent update.”

The former Toronto Raptor is in his second season with Miami and still has another year left on his lucrative contract. Many fans believe that he hasn’t played up to his near-$30-million salary. Lowry has appeared in 40 of Miami’s 49 games this season, playing 34.2 minutes each time. The six-time All-Star has averaged 12.6 points, 5.5 assists, and 4.5 rebounds per game on 40.5% shooting from the field and 33.5% from beyond the arc.

Heat Expected To ‘Express Interest’ In Josh Hart

If Miami was to look to improve the roster, rather than blow it up, one player that was recently mentioned was Josh Hart of the Portland Trailblazers.

On the January 24 edition of the “Lowe Post Podcast,” host Zach Lowe was joined by Bobby Marks of ESPN. Lowe discussed the possibility of Miami making a trade for Hart.

“Josh Hart is a name that is very, very hot right now. A lot of teams would like Josh Hart,” he said. “I think Miami will probably express some interest in Josh Hart. He’s a Heat guy. Heat kinda guy.”

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