Joe Mazzulla isn’t phased by Celtics playoff critics

The Boston Celtics have been receiving significant criticism for what is being perceived as an easy path to the NBA Finals. They have faced a Miami Heat team missing Jimmy Butler, a Cleveland Cavaliers team without Jarrett Allen and Donovan Mitchell in the final two games, and an Indiana Pacers team that lost Tyrese Haliburton for games three and four.

Despite all the external noise, Boston head coach Joe Mazzulla and his team are remaining focused ahead of the 2024 NBA Finals. The Celtics know that you can only beat the ball club that is in front of you, and they are looking to control what they can control.

“If you don’t take care of business, there’ll be a reason why. And if you do take care of business, there’ll be a reason why,” Mazzulla said during a recent appearance on WEEI’s “Zolak and Bertrand” show. “So I think the great thing this team has done this year is kind of just stay balanced, focus on what’s true, and at the same time, focused on the things that we can control and I think the test that’s been put in front of us, we’ve kind of handled, you know, as a team and and with togetherness and kind of with the right mindset.”

The Celtics are one series away from winning their first championship since 2008. They’ve been dominant all season, leading the NBA in record, and having a top-three offensive and defensive rating.

Nevertheless, Boston must prove it can win on the biggest stage. Only then will the critics begin singing its praises. If it falls short, it’s going to be a long and noisy summer.

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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire