Joe Mazzulla does 'notable,' and laudable, during Boston Celtics' win vs Suns

Boston Celtics v Phoenix Suns
Boston Celtics v Phoenix Suns / Chris Coduto/GettyImages

CBS Sports' Jack Maloney sees Joe Mazzulla attempting to block a during-timeout shot attempt from Royce O'Neal as "notable" -- and the Houdini quite frankly sees it as laudable -- during a 127-112 victory for the Boston Celtics over the Phoenix Suns on March 14 at the TD Garden.

"Players blocking opponents' shots during dead ball situations is nothing new," Maloney prefaced before saying, "Former Celtics star Kevin Garnett was so insistent on doing so that there's an entire highlight reel on YouTube of his blocks after the whistle.

"A coach getting into the mix, however, now that's notable."

Joe Mazzulla credits mindset for notable timeout defense in Boston Celtics' win vs Suns

Mazzulla had the greatest explanation for why he attempted a shot block on O'Neal's during-timeout deep-ball attempt.

It's all part of a winning mindset.

"I saw a guy going in to try to get a shot and he hadn't made one and I didn't want him to feel good about himself going to the bench," Mazzulla said. "[Boston Globe writer] Gary [Washburn] asked me about that a month ago and that's a bench rule. Guys don't shoot shots in front of our bench to go back to their bench to feel good about themselves. If I'm gonna ask the guys to contest, the staff's gotta do the same.

"At the end of the day, it's about the mindset and the approach that we bring, and it's within the rules of the game. It's about setting a tone, and it's just that. One of the biggest pet peeves is thinking that a guy's gonna get a free shot and that's not the way it works. If we're gonna hold our team to a standard, we hold our staff to the same thing. There's been times where we've missed it and I've held the staff accountable to it, and we've gotta do the best job we can of not doing it."

Hard to argue with Mazzulla's results so far. The former West Virginia Mountaineer-turned-Brad Stevens/Ime Udoka-turned-emergency head coach fill-in has had his magnum opus from a professional standpoint in 2023-24.

Finish the job and moments like this will live in lore forever.