Joe Mazzulla Praised Team For Playing ‘Celtics Basketball’ After Dominant Win

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The Boston Celtics completed the five-game homestead sweep by defeating the Orlando Magic at TD Garden on Sunday night.

In the impressive run that lifted Boston to a perfect 14-0 at home so far this season, Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla said the players are starting to hit their stride.

“I think we’re playing what I would call ‘Celtics basketball.’ From a mentality standpoint, from a toughness standpoint, from a defensive standpoint and identity, reflecting what it means to play like the Celtics,” Mazzulla said, per the team. “I think this week we’ve shown that. I think the crowd has helped that and I think our players really working to execute and buying in have helped that.

“Opponents bring out the best in us and we don’t back down. We chip away at it, and we respond. We dictate the mindset of the game and we’re just playing with that type of identity.”

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During the homestand, Boston played in a pair of two-game series with the Magic and Cleveland Cavaliers, and Mazzulla said he really saw the Celtics playing with that poise the majority of the time.

“We may lose it from time to time, but we have to fight to keep this mindset and the identity we have on both ends of the floor.”

Mazzulla added: “I think the key is just not living in those bad spaces for too long. Knowing that you’re not going to avoid them, but you just can’t stay there as long, and you’ve got to get out of them quickly. The guys do a good job of doing that.”

It’s just not the Celtics starters Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kristaps Porzingis, Derrick White and Jrue Holiday that have bought into the mentality and identity this season, it’s also the players coming off the bench like Al Horford, Payton Pritchard and Sam Hauser.

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“I think we’ve gotten to a good place (where) each unit knows what their strengths are,” Mazzulla said. “We have certain play calls for each unit, we are well organized as far as who we are attacking, and guys are just making plays.”

Each of the players suiting up for the C’s this season has seen their role adapted in one way or another but both Tatum and Brown have recognized the sacrifices they’ve embraced to capture the ultimate goal — Banner No. 18.

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