Joe Mazzulla Chalks Up Terrible Celtics Loss To Wizards As ‘Off Night’

The Celtics no-showed in Washington


March 28

Boston Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla is keeping the panic button out of sight, even after a demoralizing loss to the shorthanded Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena.

The lowly Wizards, who wouldn’t even qualify for the play-in tournament if the season ended Tuesday night, had their way with the Celtics as Boston turned in an uninspiring effort in the 130-111 defeat.

Like in Sunday’s win over the San Antonio Spurs, the Celtics trailed the Wizards after the opening quarter. While the Celtics ended up leaving the Spurs in the dust, they only compounded their mistakes against Washington.

But the horrendous performance didn’t seem to strike Mazzulla’s nerve.

“We didn’t do the small things that we did in the Spurs game,” Mazzulla told reporters, as seen on NBC Sports Boston postgame coverage. “In the San Antonio game, they weren’t scoring in transition. They weren’t scoring on offensive rebounds or fouls. And tonight, when we’re really good, we manage the game well. We don’t let them do that.

“So, it was a combination. It was just one of those nights. Very rarely has that happened to our team. Just one of those off nights.”

Even with the Wizards missing Bradley Beal and Kyle Kuzma for the contest, they picked apart Boston’s defense. Washington shot 54.5% from the floor and scored 62 points in the paint as the Celtics provided little resistance and seemed disinterested in getting back to protect their own hoop at points.

“Transition defense waned,” Mazzulla said. “I think we gave around 20 points in transition in the first half. … You let a team score early and often like that, especially in the first half, you give them a chance to get going and puts you in a tough spot and we weren’t able to recover.”

Thumbnail photo via Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports Images
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