Why Joe Mazzulla isn’t specializing in Damian Lillard, Bucks in Japanese Convention arms race


“They’re an incredible workforce. We don’t have time to fret about that.”

Boston Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla speaks at a news conference during the NBA basketball team's media day, Monday, Oct. 2, 2023, in Boston.
Joe Mazzulla is about to enter his second full season as Celtics head coach. Michael Dwyer / AP Picture

Rather a lot can change over the course of an 82-game NBA season.

However after each the Bucks and Celtics bolstered their rosters by buying All-Star guards in Damian Lillard and Jrue Vacation over the span of 5 days, each Boston and Milwaukee are broadly thought of to be in a category by themselves relating to title contenders within the Japanese Convention.

However in an interview with former NBA participant JJ Redick on “The Previous Man and the Three” Podcast, Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla doesn’t appear to have curiosity in trying over his shoulder on the Bucks and their potential declare as the highest canine within the East.

“He’s an incredible participant. They’re an incredible workforce. We don’t have time to fret about that,” Mazzulla stated of Lillard becoming a member of a gifted Bucks roster anchored by Giannis Antetokounmpo. “That actually taught me one thing final 12 months — There’s a lot at stake, I can’t fear about what’s occurring round [me], as a result of then I’m shedding sight of what we even have.

“In case you undergo the season, or conditions the place it’s like, ‘That commerce makes them higher than us,’ or ‘If we don’t get the No. 1 seed we’re not going to the Finals.’ You don’t know. You don’t have any thought.”

Throughout his interview with Redick, Mazzulla acknowledged that he grew to become caught up within the race for the No. 1 seed within the Japanese Convention final season, with Boston finally ending second behind the top-seeded Bucks.

Granted, these considerations have been alleviated after the Bucks drew into a troublesome matchup with the eighth-seeded Warmth — who upset them in 5 video games.

That first-round exit for Milwaukee, coupled with Boston’s personal eventual demise by the hands of that very same Miami squad, hammered residence for Mazzulla that getting preoccupied with the standings or opposing rosters ought to fall far down on the listing of priorities for an NBA head coach.

“If I spend extra time worrying about these issues and never appreciating what we’ve, one, I’m doing the gamers a disservice, and two, I’m not going to be as efficient at what we do,” Mazzulla stated.

“So, yeah, [the Bucks] are going to be a nightmare to play towards. However my job is to make us a nightmare to play towards too, and we’ll see what occurs when two nightmares play towards one another.”

The Celtics and Bucks will meet for the primary time on Nov. 22 at TD Backyard in what stands as the primary of three conferences throughout regular-season motion.

It wouldn’t come as a lot of a shock if each rosters meet once more beneath the brilliant lights of the playoffs subsequent spring.