While Joe Mazzulla embraced the adversity that got here from the Celtics’ dismal loss to the Lakers – who had been with out each LeBron James and Anthony Davis – he additionally acknowledged they wanted to reply to it.
Mazzulla was excited in regards to the alternative. Saturday’s uncommon apply day allowed the Celtics to take a “deep breath,” he mentioned, after a busy schedule. Little did he know, his crew had the possibility to proper the ship underneath comparable circumstances from their final setback.
The Grizzlies had been absurdly shorthanded on Sunday. Already down Ja Morant and Marcus Smart, they had been additionally lacking stars Desmond Bane and Jaren Jackson Jr. That wasn’t even half the listing. They had 13 gamers out, and solely eight gamers accessible, together with a number of gamers on two-way contracts. The Celtics, like on Thursday, may have relaxed much more than they did then as a 19.5-point favorites.
Ultimately, although, their expertise and firepower was an excessive amount of. Unlike Thursday, they took care of enterprise. Led by 34 factors from Jayson Tatum and 26 from Kristaps Porzingis, the Celtics obtained again on monitor with a dominant 131-91 victory over the Grizzlies on an emotional evening at TD Garden, the place Smart made his return to Boston.
“I thought we did our job,” Mazzulla mentioned. “The sport went the way it was alleged to go from the standpoint of I assumed we performed nicely, we executed, and I assumed we got here with the appropriate mindset. You can’t not recognize the instances the place you simply are available, do your job and get out. I feel that’s essential, ?
“But the mindset remains the same, whether it’s a win or a loss, it’s still unhealthy to stay attached to it. So we have to get better, and I think that’s the healthy mind frame that we’re trying to stay into.”
Sunday’s win can be remembered for Smart’s return and the a number of deserving ovations he acquired all through this win. The former and beloved Celtics level guard didn’t play as he recovers from a finger harm, however his presence on the ground possible would have hardly mattered on this one alongside a Memphis crew that was led by Luke Kennard, G.G. Jackson and several other different gamers who’ve barely logged any NBA time.
While the ultimate rating didn’t recommend it, the Celtics had bother placing away the Grizzlies early. They led by double digits early within the second quarter earlier than the Grizzlies went on a run that included 3-pointers from Kennard and Jacob Gilyard, who reduce their deficit to 40-38 and nonetheless trailed by two with 4:55 left within the half after a layup from Jackson. But the C’s responded with a 24-6 run led by Tatum, Porzingis and Derrick White.
The Celtics led by 20 at halftime and by no means let their benefit get trimmed by lower than 16 the remainder of the way in which. Four of the 5 Celtics starters had been capable of relaxation for the whole lot of the fourth quarter aside from Jrue Holiday, who quickly adopted them to the bench early within the last interval when it was clear the sport was out of attain.
“Any chance you can achieve your goal of winning a game and guys staying healthy and not having to play significant minutes, I think that helps, and it saves us a lot of energy to practice on Tuesday,” Mazzulla mentioned.
The lopsided rating allowed rookie Jordan Walsh to test into the sport with 8:33 remaining within the fourth. He scored his first profession factors quickly after after Oshae Brissett discovered him for an emphatic dunk in transition.
Walsh completed with two factors as he handed up photographs to make the appropriate play, and Mazzulla was impressed along with his protection, too.
“I think what stood out is his growth as a player and understanding the most important thing is defense,” Mazzulla mentioned. “I liked his defensive positioning and his defensive physicality, and his instincts, and I feel that’s gotten rather a lot higher because the starting of the yr, and I feel that’s a problem for any younger participant, is actually shopping for into the truth that no matter what you assume you’re offensively or the way it went in faculty, it’s important to play protection, it’s important to study protection, and he’s finished a terrific job of that.
“And then it’s fun for him too, he got his first two points in the Garden, and he continued to play the right way.”