Over the years, the Boston Celtics have developed a reputation around the NBA for being soft. People look at Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown and think that they are soft. Although it may be unfair, Tatum and Brown have chosen to lead the Celtics softly. The Jays could look to adopt the new mentality from head coach Joe Mazzulla, who has become more aggressive and tough during games.
The C's In-Season Tournament game against the Chicago Bulls highlighted a different side of Mazzulla. One that is unwilling to back down from an opponent or a situation. Despite being up almost 30 points, Mazzulla chose to foul Bulls center Andre Drummond to protect the point differential. Although the Bulls and their head coach Billy Donovan took offense, Mazzulla did not seem to care, and he let them know.
The decision from Mazzulla felt like a revelation for the Celtics in that it showed real toughness and grit. Mazzulla stuck up for his team and their desire to advance in the In-Season Tournament, and he did so in a passionate/aggressive way.
The Celtics players, specifically, Tatum and Brown, can learn from this because they need to get tougher. Mazzulla is paving the way for the Celtics to become an unlikeable team across the NBA, which would be great.
Look at the latest dominant teams in NBA history, like the Golden State Warriors, who embraced the villain role, and it gave them an edge. I think the Celtics could benefit from playing with an edge more.
Boston Celtics must follow Joe Mazzulla's lead to truly thrive
Moving forward, the Celtics should continue to flex their muscles and follow the lead of Mazzulla. The Celtics have to get the soft label off their backs and being more aggressive and vocal is the way to do it.
Whether or not the Celtics win Banner 18 could be determined by how aggressive they are and their overall mindset.