Fear of slander can be a great driving force.
Joe Majula and Jayson Tatum felt it in a different but important way on Thursday night as the Boston Celtics suffered a disastrous end to the season at the hands of the Philadelphia 76ers.
Young coaches and star players have suffered the kind of lasting regret that ruined their summers and clings to their resumes. They had no choice but to do something to avoid it, and it appears that discomfort served them well as Boston survived a 95–86 Eastern Conference semifinal Game 6 win.
It became clear that behind the scenes much of the Celtics’ roster wanted the team to largely return to the lineup that made it to the NBA Finals last spring.
This meant that Al Horford was playing defensive center and Robert Williams III was roaming free safety, allowing the other team’s worst shooter to roam and wreak havoc.
Williams suffered a knee injury last season and it was often a game-time decision throughout the season (he missed seven games). He was so instrumental in the game planning that the nightly announcements were often accompanied by little tension.
But the so-called “double big” lineup, which outscored the team 25 points for every 100 possessions, was on the floor for a total of 81 minutes during the entire regular season and has yet to play another game against Philadelphia. series. Game 6 Entry.
Majula, who was assistant coach to Ime Udoka on the coaching staff last season, apparently preferred not to use it. He liked to replace Horford and Williams and use extra points to score perimeter players like Derrick White or Malcolm Brogdon.
But Mazzulla relented before Wednesday’s flight to Philadelphia as he skied for his tactical moves in his first major series as manager. He told his players that he would go back to his old ways because James Harden is going to the paint with ease and Joel Embiid is getting stronger with the game.
Call it what you want: ease, consent or break; Majulla worked hard and foiled his game plan. And his players loved it when he said who knows what’s behind closed doors.
this was it:
Security guard Marcus Smart said, “I was very happy about it.” “[Williams] is a huge player for us and I was proud to have him on the court and it will show that Joe is learning as we all do. I know he gets hit a lot, of course he does ..and he did, and that’s all you can ask for.”
“I was excited,” Horford said. “I’m very happy Rob is out there. He does a lot for us defensively.”
Jaylen Brown said, “It made a huge difference and you could see it.” “It doesn’t take an expert’s eye to see the difference Rob has made.”
it worked. The 76ers started the game at 1/11, embarrassed by the Celtics’ size and the many zone defensive assets anchoring the paint. Again, the Celtics’ defense got in their way again, forcing 11 consecutive punts in the fourth quarter as the game was put to rest.
The Sixers looked unprepared as their lineup contributed to preventing them from moving the ball. Harden, who finished 4/16 shooting, and Embiid, who scored 26 points but lost the fourth quarter, missed the opportunity to advance to the conference finals in 22 years.
“There was a sense of urgency and togetherness,” Mazulla said. “They showed it as long as they played together.”
Then there was Tatum, who had a different mindset. His play was not planned, but steeped in it. After hearing for several days that he had to get off to a good start for his team in the elimination game after losing 0-8 in Game 4 and 0-6 in Game 5, Tatum played one of the worst games of his life. Had been.
And it was ugly.
He missed badly, making one of his first 14 shots. With a defensive-first lineup, the Celtics needed Tatum to increase their scoring pace and at times didn’t even look like they wanted to shoot.
It was a dark day, undoubtedly for social media, but less so for non-digital commentary in New England.