Boston’s three biggest bugaboos they must erase, per Joe Mazzulla

The Boston Celtics are .500 coming out of the All-Star break and coach Joe Mazzulla has some concerns over their efforts on both sides of the floor.

Mazzulla specifically mentioned the Celtics’ transition defense, offensive rebounding and free-throws rate as areas that could be fixed.

The Celtics are 46-21 and second in the Eastern Conference, but they are just 4-4 in their past eight games coming out of the break. Defensively the Celtics have given up over 110 points in five of those games. 

Naturally the struggles have gotten everyone around the team a little restless, especially because there are some questions about whether Mazzulla, a first-year coach, can handle the pressure of a playoff run.

Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe goes into further detail about the growing concerns about Mazzulla that have come to light during this mini-slump.

What’s complicated about the situation is Mazzulla is just 34 and a first-time coach. First-time anythings make mistakes, they learn with experience, they are given grace. Mazzulla is not presented with such grace because the stakes are so high.

“No. 1, whether I coach for one year or 20 years, I’m still going to make mistakes in Year 20, so it’s not really whether I’m a first-time head coach,” Mazzulla said. “People have been coaching a long time, they get a pass for the mistakes that they make. And young guys don’t.

But if the Celtics can clean up their defensive efforts, and Wednesday night’s 115-93 win over the Portland Trail Blazers was a nice start, get to the line more and become more competitive on the offensive glass, maybe Joe Mazzulla will show that he has what it takes to get them to the finish line.

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