Gary Washburn: Joe Mazzulla 'has to trust himself' in late-game situations
Washburn: Mazzulla 'has to trust himself' in late-game situations originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Joe Mazzulla has taken plenty of heat for his head-scratching decision-making at the end of Sunday's Game 4 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Down one point with 19 seconds remaining in overtime, the Boston Celtics coach opted not to call a timeout to draw up a play. Instead, Jayson Tatum let the clock wind down to 4.8 seconds before driving to the basket and dishing to Marcus Smart, who was unable to get his shot off before the final buzzer.
Mazzulla initially stood by his decision, stating Tatum and Smart ran the right play but "just had to play with a bit more pace." On Monday, he walked back his comments and admitted he should have called the timeout.
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On Monday, The Boston Globe's Gary Washburn joined Arbella Early Edition to share his strong take on the ordeal.
"It's getting to the point, you cannot blow games like this anymore," Washburn said. "If you get a shot off and it's missed, fine. A shot, it's missed and you get a putback and that's missed -- they didn't get a shot off. That's inexcusable with 18.2 seconds left, 4.8 before Jayson (Tatum) even decided to make a move toward the basket. ... There's no sense of urgency. It was embarrassing. ...
"Joe has to trust himself. Trust that your call during a timeout is going to be better than a set defense. What he didn't want was Doc (Rivers) to put in De'Anthony Melton and P.J. Tucker. He wanted (Tyrese) Maxey and (James) Harden on the floor. It didn't make a difference."
While Mazzulla deserves a fair share of the blame, he wasn't the only one to make a costly mistake in crunch time. Tatum waited far too long to initiate the final play and Jaylen Brown left Sixers star James Harden wide open in the corner on what turned out to be the game-winning 3-pointer.
The C's will look to avenge the devastating defeat and take a 3-2 series lead when they return to Boston for a crucial Game 5 on Tuesday night. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. ET at TD Garden with Celtics Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m. right here on NBC Sports Boston.
You can watch the full "Early Edition" segment with Washburn below.