Joe Mazzulla, the Celtics coach with Guardiola's script | Basketball | Sports | EUROtoday

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The first recreation of the NBA closing between the Celtics and the Mavericks had Pep Guardiola as a front-row spectator this Thursday. The Manchester City coach returned his pal and admirer Joe Mazzulla, Celtics coach, for the go to he made in February. Both had been seen the day earlier than chatting on the sphere. Although soccer and basketball are so completely different, the Celtics coach acknowledges that the Spanish coach has had numerous affect on his approach of seeing the sport. This Sunday, after their victory on Thursday, these from Boston host the Dallas Mavericks once more within the second recreation of the ultimate, the most effective of seven (at 8:00 p.m., East Coast time of the United States; 4:00 a.m. on Monday in mainland Spain).

“I think the things that lead to success are the same. In the locker room, regardless of the sport, even if you are in a company,” Mazzulla answered when requested at a press convention on Wednesday what worth it had for him to study from coaches who are usually not devoted to basketball. “The things that lead to victory, the things that lead to success like toughness, togetherness, connectedness, the mentality that you bring… it's all the same. It's just a matter of getting the right group of people in the right places, and then feeding that mindset every day. You can learn from everything. You try to be as open-minded as possible,” he added.

This Saturday he expressly answered a query concerning the Spanish coach. “He is a great person, a great coach,” he stated, highlighting “the humility, the joy, the work ethic, the intensity that he brings” and the “great relationship” that unites them. “I am very grateful to him, and I would like to think that we make each other better. So it's great that he was here. It's great that I was able to share some of his wisdom and that I was able to spend time with him,” he added.

Joe Mazzulla, born in Johnston, Rhode Island, in 1988, was by no means a fantastic basketball participant, however he at all times understood the keys of the sport nicely. He began coaching shortly after leaving school. As a toddler he performed soccer and likes to see his connections with basketball. For instance, he serves as an instance how matches are a continuum, not a mere aggregation of assault and protection.

He defined it simply earlier than the sport in opposition to the Mavericks this Thursday. “The game is connected, so the offensive adjustments we make will depend largely on how we defend and the defensive adjustments we make will depend largely on how we attack,” he stated, including that the secret is “how one thing affects the other”.

“That's what basketball is all about, for me, like the fast break in football,” Mazzulla told The Athletic last February, after his visit to Manchester. “So I study Manchester City a lot. I study Pep a lot. I think he is the best coach at any level, in any sport. He has had a great influence [en mí]”he added.

Mazzulla, 35, found himself by surprise in 2022 directing the Boston Celtics, the quintessential NBA classic. He had just been third coach, but was going to start as second after Will Hardy, the main assistant, decided to seek his luck in Utah. However, a scandal that was never fully clarified led to the suspension (and later dismissal) of Ime Udoka in September, shortly before the start of the season, so the ranks ran again in what initially seemed like a temporary solution. After the good results, Mazzulla was no longer considered an interim, although he said goodbye to his first year with the bitter taste of the Celtics' surprise defeat in the Eastern Conference final against the Miami Heat.

This year, with a team in his image, he has swept the regular season. The additions of Kristaps Porziņģis and Jrue Holiday bore the expected fruit. They arrived willing to respect the primacy of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, the team's stars, but to be decisive in their own way, as happened on Thursday. Veteran Al Horford, older than Mazzulla, and reliable Derrick White are also regulars in the rotation. A good part of the players can exchange positions, everyone is involved in defense and anyone can shoot three-pointers. And several of them are also soccer fans. They have reached the NBA final without breaking a sweat and won the first game against the Mavericks with authority.

Mazzulla says that he discovered in the philosophy of pick-up the idea that the team must be very clear about what it is playing before the game. Unlike basketball, there are no timeouts in soccer, so players must know what to expect beforehand. The Celtics coach likes that idea and says it redefined his approach to timeouts.

Still, on Thursday, Mazzulla experienced the timeout every coach dreams of. He asked for it in the only moment in which the Celtics seemed at the mercy of the visitors. After the advantage reached in the first half, Boston relaxed and allowed the Mavericks to get within 8 points, when the difference had reached 29. Mazzulla stopped the clock and called his team. After returning to the court, the Celtics achieved a 14-0 run that ended the game. Mission accomplished.

What did Mazzulla do? On the one hand, a tactical adjustment. Jrue Holiday had been torturing Kyrie Irving in defense, also distracted by the boos of the public. Instead, the defensive rotations on Luka Dončić seemed to have stopped working and the Slovenian was on a roll. Mazzulla asked Holiday to defend him and it worked. But also, the talk had the effect of breaking the Mavericks' pace and motivating their team.

In the press conference after the game they asked him what he had told the players and he recreated it. “Listen, it's the NBA Finals, you're playing against a great team and they're going to have streaks. You just have to be aware of why. We just have to understand the play, what we can do to change it and how we can improve from there,” he explained that he told them. “I think the guys' poise coming out of that timeout was important, and that's what's going to happen: they're going to have more streaks and we're going to have to fight against them,” he added.

“They have a great team. There's no one way to defend these guys, especially when you have to play them again. So you have to be open-minded to do different things, absolutely,” she explained later. “But I don't foresee a single solution. You have to have multiple solutions,” she added. In the second match (early morning from Sunday to Monday, 2.00, Movistar), it will be seen if these multiple solutions, some inspired by Guardiola, work again.

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