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Mazzulla, Tatum, Brown, team defense, Celtics culture: Issues for the future.

 Why am I writing about the Celtics future when the East Finals are not finished yet? We already know that no NBA team has come back from a 0-3 deficit, and fans feel that this version of the Boston Celtics will not be the first to do so. 

Where do they go from here? When I have thoughts of them winning Game-4 in Miami and then losing Game-5 at home, all I can hear in my mind are the boos from the home crowd for losing to an 8th-seed. I hate when that happens at any time, although it may be deserved for The Green's performance in the 2023 post-season.

It starts with Joe Mazzulla. Specifics were not made known about his contract - other than it was extended and the interim tag removed. Analysts fully realize Joe has been out-coached by Eric Spoelstra in the East Finals, but that was expected. Mazzulla is a rookie head coach and the veteran, Spoelstra, is one of the best at his craft. 

Mazzulla will most-likely remain as Boston's head coach, but a return to consistent, hard-core defense - less reliance on 3-pointers - and more-efficient use of the bench are all issues he needs to consider. Joe stepped in to a tough arena - made some mistakes - but none that can't be corrected.

Jayson Tatum is still "The Guy" for the Celtics. There are few with his skills, and he has become a complete player. Granted, he has been inconsistent in the 2023 playoffs, but if Brad Stevens has any thoughts of trading him, the return would have to be very-loiaded. Tatum is that good7.

Jaylen Brown? I have avoided discussing trading Brown --- until now. No, he is not to blame for the Celtics woes, but he will be extremely expensive to retain, even if he wishes to remain in Boston. Jaylen's mind sometimes seems to be elsewhere when he is on the court - and off of it. If one of Boston's top-2 players has to go to change the culture in a positive direction, it needs to be Jaylen.

One more thing. The Heat's Pat Riley and Eric Spoelstra have been around for quite some time, and through some tough times together. Miami's culture is set - and working, Not so Brad Stevens and Joe Mazzulla in their respective positions. And remember the Celtics lost both Damon Stoudamire and Will Hardy from the assistant coaching ranks. And we all remember the Ime Udoka scandal. Stabilization of the organization is needed.

Celtics fans will be reluctant to hear any excuses for Boston's present 0-3 record versus Miami, but these are facts. Expect some changes in personnel and mindset within the Celtics organization, and that will start soon.


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