“I don’t think you could have done that if they got swept” – Bill Simmons sees the NBA’s Boston

“I don’t think you could have done that if they got swept” – Bill Simmons sees the NBA’s Boston

Joe Mazzulla shouldered the blame for the Boston Celtics’ humiliating Game 3 loss to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals. The first-time head coach bravely admitted it was his fault he couldn’t get the Celtics to be ready for their biggest game of the season.

Most basketball analysts and fans questioned the Celtics’ heart and grit after quitting on themselves in the said game. For many, Mazzulla was as good as gone.

Bill Simmons, however, sees a different future for the embattled coach after the Celtics rallied to tie the ECF:

“In general, he’s [Mazzulla] gotta get some credit for the fact that his team just came back from 3-0 down and didn’t quit. You could say that it was part his fault that they quit in Game 3 but I think he comes back, win or lose.

“He’s shown enough that they’ll bring him back with the bench coach now. I don’t think you could have done that if they got swept.”

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The Boston Celtics arguably have a more talented and deeper lineup than the Miami Heat. Boston’s biggest disadvantage is at the coaching end of the roster. Miami has the multi-titled Erk Spoelstra to count on.

The Celtics, on the other hand, are leaning on someone whose previous head-coaching gig was in West Virginia, a Division II program in the NCAA. In the first three games of the ECF, it looked like Spoelstra was running rings around Mazzulla.

Miami is led by Jimmy Butler, but several of the team’s contributors were former undrafted players such as Gabe Vincent, Caleb Martin and Max Strus. Spoelstra’s 2-3 zone defense flummoxed Joe Mazzulla’s team until Game 4.

From Games 1-3, the Boston Celtics looked disconnected and hesitant. Mazzulla was blasted on social media for his poor substitutions and for failing to call timeouts when the Celtics were in disarray. He seemed to have shrunk in the conference finals.

Joe Mazzulla has regained his footing and the Boston Celtics are on the brink of history

For Joe Mazzulla’s Boston Celtics to enter the NBA Finals, they will have to do something no one has done in league history. They will need to become the first team to go down 0-3 and still win a playoff series.

Game 7 on Monday will decide if the Celtics have carved themselves into the history book or face a somewhat uncertain offseason.

The narrative surrounding Joe Mazzulla shifted in one week. The rookie head coach has not only made his team ready, but he has also started pushing the right buttons.

“They’re just resilient.”Joe Mazzulla talks Celtics coming back after being down 3-0

The Rhode Island native’s substitutions have been on point. The call to give Derrick White more leeway on both ends of the floor may have saved his and the Celtics’ season.

After choosing to go with Robert Wiliams more against the Philadelphia 76ers, White has been re-inserted into the starting lineup. The unassuming point guard has made a huge impact on both ends of the floor for the Boston Celtics.

Joe Mazzulla’s decision to make Derrick White Jimmy Butler’s primary defender is a big reason why Boston has crawled out of a 0-3 hole.

Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens was confident Mazzulla was the right man to lead the team. Stevens could have made a splashy move by hiring a veteran coach to replace Ime Udoka.

On Monday, Mazzulla could show why Stevens had sky-high confidence in him.

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Edited by Michael Macasero

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