Celtics’ Joe Mazzulla drops ringing endorsement for Lakers’ coaching target

Tony Nguyen | Los Angeles Lakers
May 16, 2024

Going deep into the NBA Playoffs has its own downsides. With most teams already out of contention for the Larry O’Brien trophy, their primary goal shifts into re-tooling for the next season. The Los Angeles Lakers are doing exactly this and one of their frontrunners is Sam Cassell. There have been rumors going around about him competing against JJ Redick and James Borrego for the position. However, the push from Boston Celtics head honcho Joe Mazzulla may have been enough to put him ahead of the rest.

What makes Sam Cassell unique?

Some head coaches are almost always reluctant to comment on members of their coaching staff joining other teams. This is largely because they have to focus on the NBA Playoffs and also try to keep their core schematic masterminds. Coach Joe Mazzulla is clearly unique. The Celtics head honcho would love for Sam Cassell to get the opportunity to lead another squad, even if that other team is the Lakers.

The Celtics’ head honcho even dropped a big declaration about Sam Cassell before they tried to eliminate the Cleveland Cavaliers, via Daniel Donabedian of ClutchPoints.

“He’s been at every seat on the bench. So, he knows how to communicate with every single player…He’s loyal, communicates well, he’s a good coach, great coach,” Joe Mazzulla said.

He also pointed out how Sam Cassell has the tendency to look at a lot of films throughout the season. This could largely be why the Celtics are good at adjusting their game plan per team. Moreover, their success of notching 64 wins probably would not have happened had the veteran coaching staff member not been with Joe Mazzulla.

He fits perfectly with the Lakers already too. Cassell and LeBron James are both under Klutch Sports which ties them together. Furthermore, he has the most experience out of guys like Micah Nori, JJ Redick, and James Borrego. Departures are often sad but seeing a Celtics coaching staff member thrive with another team might just make some fans smile.

The Celtics’ system of efficiency

May 11, 2024; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Boston Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla reacts in the second quarter of game three of the second round of the 2024 NBA playoffs against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
© David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

If any team in the league embodies the word balance, it would be the Celtics. Joe Mazzulla has grown to enhance his style of play and the Jayson Tatum-led squad is fully embracing it. At the end of the season, this team became unrivaled at both ends of the floor and thrived no matter who their opponents were.

On offense, they were blazing it up against the competition. The Celtics had the top-ranked offense among all 30 teams. Their offensive rating clocked in at 123.2 after 82 matchups. They weren’t just chucking up shots aimlessly too. Joe Mazzulla’s schemes have allowed his squad to knock down their shots at an insanely good rate. This is why they wrapped up the regular season with the second-highest effective field goal percentage which was rated at around 57.8%.

On defense, the Celtics were insanely good. The additional personnel of Jrue Holiday and Kristaps Porzingis alongside the Jays made them hard to beat. They had a 111.6 defensive rating which was good for third in the league. All of these have carried over to the NBA Playoffs. Hopefully, they can finally score their 18th banner.