Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla DEFENDS the decision not to call a time-out on final possession against the 76ers after James Harden sunk a crucial three-pointer against Boston
- Possession ended when the final buzzer sounded just before the shot was taken
- Boston’s loss has now tied the series 2-2 with just three games remaining
- DailyMail.com offers the latest international sports news
Boston Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla gave reporters a rather blunt response when asked about his decision not to take a time-out for the final game of overtime in Sunday’s overtime loss to Philadelphia.
In the game in question, Boston got the ball back with 19 seconds and two timeouts remaining after James Harden put the 76ers straight ahead after converting a three-point clutch shot.
Instead of taking a time out to get the ball on court before playing a game that saw Jayson Tatum drive off a screen of Derrick White before kicking the ball to Marcus Smart who was trying to win the game, Smart made jumpers the last second at the end, but let go of the ball just after the last buzzer had expired.
“That was the game, we just had to play at a little more pace,” Mazzulla said, citing Boston not getting a shot in time.
“We had the right matchup. Jayson came downhill, made the right play on the edge, we just needed to play a little more pace there. But that was the game.”
Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla gave reporters a blunt answer as to why he didn’t take time off
Boston’s last possession ended with Marcus Smart attempting a game-winning 3-pointer
Celtics superstar Jayson Tatum also commented on the game, pointing out that there were other instances where the team didn’t call a timeout that way and they successfully converted the shot attempt.
“We have a good core group of guys who know how to play under pressure,” Tatum said.
Boston started the series with a 2-1 lead, which today’s result is now stuck at 2-2.
Interestingly, that decision comes just days after the Milwaukee Bucks fired former head coach Mike Budenholzer.
He was fired after a questionable decision not to take a timeout at crunch time resulted in his team eventually being eliminated from the playoffs.
While Mazzulla is unlikely to meet a fate similar to Budenholzer’s, it underscores the microscope coaches look under in the postseason, regardless of how great their teams perform in the 82-game regular season.
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