Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla told to put shot block attempts on ice

Joe Mazzulla went viral on this past Thursday (March 14) as he attempted to block a Royce O’Neale shot after a timeout was called during the Boston Celtics’ 112-127 victory over the Phoenix Suns. Mazzulla has cited his belief that opponents should not get free shots at the rim, regardless of whether that it is during a game. Therefore, he was leading by example.

During an appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub on Wednesday (March 20), Mazzulla revealed that he’d been instructed to stop making such shot-blocking attempts moving forward. He stopped short of revealing where the instruction had come from.

“I’ve been told I can’t do that anymore,” Mazzulla said. ““I can’t say…All I know is I won’t be doing that anymore.”

It’s understandable why Mazzulla has been warned against attempting to block a player’s shot in the future.

It’s likely to avoid sparking a confrontation or potentially injuring the offensive player, especially as it would occur when there wasn’t a passage of play. Still, Mazzulla was steadfast in his belief that setting a tone with the little moments is important.

“We don’t want to give them an edge at any point so I appreciate the players allowing us to be ourselves and the staff, I appreciate the staff buying into that,” Mazzulla said. “You get small moments to set the temperature and that was one of the ways but we built that.”

Now, Mazzulla will need to rely on his players to keep setting the tone when opponents take free shots at the basket after the whistle has blown. Mazzulla is a competitior. He wants to find any little advantage he can. The Celtics will need that mentality as they chase a championship banner later this season.

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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire