Boston Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla noted that his team has had some less-than-perfect moments over the last few weeks.
The topic came up again after the Celtics played down to the level of their opponent on Friday night, squeaking out a 133-129 win over the Washington Wizards, a team that entered with just nine wins on the season.
For a number of reasons, the Celtics have had a few less dominant stretches in recent games and “definitely struggled” at times on Friday night, at least defensively, according to head coach Joe Mazzulla.
Boston’s head coach realizes that there are going to be down stretches throughout the course. Rather than harping on them, Mazzulla made note of how the Celtics have responded to those situations.
“I don’t think they’re habits,” Mazzulla told reporters, per NBC Sports Boston’s postgame coverage. “I think there’s bad stretches. I do think there’s been moments of slippage throughout games, which is obviously going to happen. What I care about more is our approach to those slippages. I don’t negate those. I don’t think you’re going to eliminate those. It’s just not going to happen. The response to those is important and making sure they don’t slip for multiple quarters or games. That’s kind of more important.”
Mazzulla added that the constant heavy championship pressures have created major expectations for the Celtics. When those expectations aren’t met on a certain night, concerns may rise. As a result, Mazzulla believes the Celtics have to push those aside to play free.
“If we can eliminate those expectations and just play, I thought you saw a significant shift,” Mazzulla added.
The Celtics travel to South Florida on Sunday for an afternoon battle with their recent rivals the Miami Heat.