Celtics’ Joe Mazzulla Shares Unique Philosophy On Practice

'You don't have to practice, to practice I would say'


Nov 25, 2022

Yes, Allen Iverson, Boston Celtics interim head coach Joe Mazzulla really was talking about practice prior to Friday night’s game against the Sacramento Kings.

The Celtics haven’t had much time for it recently, but that doesn’t seem to bother Mazzulla.

Mazzulla, who is the youngest bench boss in the entire league, is even fine with skipping on-court practice at times as for him, it comes down to gauging his team’s needs as he shared a unique philosophy about practice.

“I think it’s just based on the guys. Kind of what they need and what they feel,” Mazzulla told reporters, per NBC Sports Boston. “The NBA season presents so many opportunities to do different things. And you don’t have to practice, to practice I would say. So, there’s a lot of other ways to get better.”

So what exactly can the Celtics do in place of practicing? Mazzulla had a laundry list of things he sees as being just as beneficial.

“I think you have to try to highlight ways to where you can grow as a team and where you can get better,” Mazzulla said. “Whether it’s through film, whether it’s through conversation, whether it’s through a walkthrough or whether it’s through a day off. I think it’s just a matter of feeling what our guys need and putting them in that best situation.”

Not having much practice time during the early part of this season hasn’t obviously hurt the Celtics when they are on the floor and the games matter. Boston entered Friday’s contest with the best record in the NBA at 14-4.

With the Celtics having a championship-caliber squad that is veteran-laden, it really doesn’t come as a surprise that the Celtics would prioritize rest over pushing players through a practice. The Celtics probably won’t practice much coming up either with only two days off between games only once in the next two weeks.

But Mazzulla, who also has displayed an unconventional timeout strategy, doesn’t appear to be fretting that as he navigates his first season as a head coach in the NBA.

Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images
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