‘Proactive Mindset’ Sets Tone For Celtics Dismantling Of Nets

'I thought that mindset kind of started it for us'


February 2

BOSTON — It wasn’t just a barrage of 3-pointers that led the Boston Celtics to a historic first quarter against the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night at TD Garden.

According to Celtics interim head coach Joe Mazzulla, it was Boston’s overall mentality to dictate play at both sides of the court that spearheaded a dominant 12 minutes in which it outscored the Nets, 46-16.

“I thought we chose to be aggressive on both ends of the floor, and we weren’t reactive, we were proactive just in our approach to both ends,” Mazzulla said following a 139-96 win for the Celtics over their division rival. “I thought that mindset kind of started it for us.”

The Celtics didn’t let up, either. After racing out to a 24-4 advantage six minutes into the contest, Boston’s lead was safely secured as it never dipped below 20 points the rest of the way.

For Boston not to have any lapses and allow the Nets to even muster a little response and cause just the slightest of doubt was rare. After all, the Celtics blew a 20-point, second-half lead earlier this season on the road to the Los Angles Lakers before clawing back and winning in overtime.

But again, Mazzulla pointed not to any shot-making from the Celtics — which there was plenty with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown knocking down seven 3-pointers each as they combined for 57 points — but their ability to stayed focused even with the game already out of hand.

“We were down eight to start the second quarter, but I think we did a good job responding to it,” Mazzulla said. “So, just credit to our guys. I said that in the locker room that I enjoy the fact that when you’re in situations like that, that our guys continue to play hard, compete and play the right way.”

Thumbnail photo via Mandatory Credit: David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum and interim coach Joe Mazzulla
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