The New York Knicks are 2-1 against the Boston Celtics this season. After cruising to a 109-04 win over the Celtics earlier this week, the Knicks are in Boston for a Sunday evening divisional matchup.
New York’s most recent win over Boston was exciting for two reasons. It’s always great when the Knicks knock off a hated division rival, but the win also knocked the Nets down to the standings to No. 6 and the Knicks up to No. 5. It was a win-win situation for fans.
The Celtics were without Jaylen Brown on Monday, who was out due to personal reasons. However, Brown being out wasn’t an excuse for Boston to shoot 9-of-42 (21.4%) from three. After the game, Malcolm Brogdon attributed the loss to the Knicks being a disciplined team and forcing the Celtics to take tough shots, but Joe Mazzulla chose to take a different approach.
Joe Mazzulla’s comment following recent Knicks-Celtics game was both hilarious and embarrassing
To be fair, Joe Mazzulla was asked by a reporter how he felt about the free throw disparity, but it was his answer that drew attention. He said, “How can I say this without getting in trouble? It wasn’t the same as the Philly game.” Mazzulla was referencing the Celtics’ 110-107 win over the Sixers from a couple of days before where Philadelphia had 35 free throw attempts and Boston had 12.
Joel Embiid averages 10.1 made free throws (11.8 attempts) per game and James Harden averages 5.7 made free throws (6.5 attempts). That’s a different conversation for another day, but the Celtics still managed to win that game and Mazzulla wasn’t upset.
Against New York a couple of days later, though, Boston struggled. While the Celtics average 15.9 made three-pointers per game (second highest in the league) and a 37.9 three-point percentage (third-best in the league), they shot poorly from beyond the arc.
New York shot 23-of-34 from the free throw line and Boston shot 11-of-14, which is where Mazzulla’s frustration was stemming from. For Knicks fans, it’s weird to think that an opposing coach seriously accused New York of being favored by the referees. The Knicks don’t get that respect. The Knicks don’t get much respect in general, even though they’ve turned into a far better team than many thought they would be.
Boston scored 52 points in the paint, which was 10 more than what New York scored. Perhaps the Celtics should’ve kept taking it inside instead of failing to hit much of anything from three.
Joe Mazzulla couldn’t accept that the Knicks were the better team on Monday night. It is what it is. If New York beats Boston for a third time this season later this evening, who knows what we’ll hear from Mazzulla.