BOSTON — The Celtics could’ve rested their entire starting five for the final six games of the regular season, still while possessing the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference with a home-court advantage for the playoffs.

Reaching that level of season-long dominance speaks to the team’s talent, coaching and overall commitment toward a collective goal rather than personal achievement. And while Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla is owed a solid portion of credit for the team’s 62 wins in their first 79 games, the second-year playbook leader instead redirected credit vocalized by guard Jrue Holiday, to the roster, specifically its “open-mindedness.”

“I think it says more about (Holiday’s) open-mindedness,” Mazzulla said before Thursday night’s matchup against the Knicks at TD Garden. “His wanting to be coached, his wanting to reinvent, to develop different perspectives. So I think it says a lot about who he is and who the guys are. It’s been a really open-minded group toward finding ways to constantly grow as a team and get better. And learn from the process and not necessarily from the result. So I’m grateful for that.”

When the offseason groundwork was laid out, and team president of basketball operations Brad Stevens got busy behind the scenes, it was evident that Boston was determined to flip the script. However, that’s just a goal on paper that the team has strived to bring to life since Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown emerged in the 2018 conference finals loss to LeBron James. It took much more than buzz-phrase self-reflections to live up to the hype, but unlike last season, it’s finally come true.

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After adding Holiday and Kristaps Porzingis to the mix ahead of training camp, the expectations were set beyond the standard for which the Celtics should play to. This season, sacrifice was set to be in high demand all across the board in order for all the pieces to fall into place and impact the team’s overall success. Not a problem.

Holiday inherited an addition-by-subtraction role, sacrificing shot attempts in exchange for forming the NBA’s strongest backcourt defensive force alongside Derrick White. Concurrently, the impact of taking a slight step back offensive allowed Holiday to shoot a career-high 43.1% from three and lead the league in corner three shooting percentage — Holiday shoots 60-plus-percent in both corners.

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The work Holiday’s given the Celtics since sporting Boston’s threads in October was rewarded on Wednesday night when the team extended the 33-year-old. Holiday signed a fresh, new four-year, $135 million contract, signaling the organization’s willingness to maintain the 2023-24 core.

Holiday quickly pointed the finger toward Mazzulla when asked about a successful debut run in Boston, during Thursday’s practice.

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“Joe has definitely grown my game, grown my vision and perspective on basketball,” Holiday told reporters, per CLNS Media. “Every year, I do plan to grow, but I think being able to give me a different responsibility, to look at the game and the players and pieces that we have, I’ve never been on a team like this. It’s been fun just to get to know Joe and his craziness and his schemes but at the time, seeing our team put it together.”

Next, the task shifts to Holiday maintaining his effective playstyle when it matters most: the postseason.

Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images