With Jrue Holiday sidelined for two games with a right ankle sprain, Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla gave Dalano Banton the opportunity to start in Boston’s 113-103 win over the Atlanta Hawks.

It was the first time Banton got the nod this season, and the guard admitted he was surprised by Mazzulla’s decision, according to Bobby Manning of CLNS Media.

“I didn’t know I was going to start. I was definitely surprised by it,” Banton said. “But that’s the thing with Joe, over time I’ve realized he was his own way of coaching. He’ll do different things and he trusts all of us.”

Banton added: “Not just me, but all the guys part of our stay ready group. It was me one day, but we know it could be somebody else another day and that just leads to motivation to come in here every day and be that professional that you need to be knowing that any day could be your day.”

Story continues below advertisement

No Matchup Found

Click here to enter a different Sportradar ID.

The Celtics newcomer scored eight points over 19 minutes while collecting five rebounds in Boston’s win.

    What do you think?  Leave a comment.

Banton added that Mazzulla treats the reserve players the same way he does the everyday starters which is important for when they come off the bench.

“He’s very transparent with us,” Banton explained. “He keeps us in the loop and we never feel like we’re out of it even if we play zero minutes. … I always feel a part of it and I always feel like I can or I will get in the game.”

Story continues below advertisement

Ahead of the Celtics’ In-Season Tournament game with the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night, Banton said he hoped to get in the game but the goal was for Boston to win.

Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images