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I see Red Auerbach/Tommy Heinsohn influence in Joe Mazzula's offense

 Tommy Heinsohn followed Red Auerbach's cue in preparing his troops for a fast-pace, run-your-opponents-into-the-ground type of offense. And now, Head Coach Joe Mazzulla is doing likewise.


In the Celtics 131-112 win over the Nuggets, it all started in the first quarter with a rebound by Jaylen Brown - who whipped a long outlet pass to a streaking Jayson Tatum for the slam.

Fans were then treated to a Dennis-Johnson-to-Larry-Bird recreation when Brown found Grant Williams open under the hoop. Less than a minute later, it was Jaylen-to-Jayson-Tatum for an easy one. 

There was little iso play. Just a lot of rebounding, quick outlet passes and running downcourt. It could have been Russell/Cousy/Heinsohn - or Cowens/Hondo/White. But this time it was Horford, Tatum and Brown.

And how about Payton Pritchard. He racked up 11 points, five boards and one Hell of a steal and hoop at 9:19 of the second period. Only seconds earlier, the 6'1" guard grabbed an offensive board  while surrounded by three opponents. The little guy was making his presence known with Malcolm Brogdon on the mend. Hell, we even saw a Russell-like hook shot from Luke Kornet. Boston kept getting easy hoops.

In the beginning, I was skeptical of Mazzulla as an acceptable replacement for the disgraced Ime Udoka. We are early into the process of observing Joe - as a coach and as an individual, but taking the "Interim" status out of the equation, at least for the rest of the season, may be in order. His brand of offense is exciting. And it works.


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