Joe Mazzulla wants the Celtics to maintain a consistent focus throughout the game to prevent any further complications against the Pacers.

Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla attributed the team’s overtime drama against the Pacers in Game 1 to losing focus during critical moments. He emphasized that, as he has mentioned after close losses before, the end of the game holds the same importance as the beginning.

Tense moments at the end of close NBA games are understandably magnified, in part because one game-altering play can turn out to be the last one of the night. But coach Joe Mazzulla has pushed back all season against this narrative, stressing that the end of every other quarter is just as important.

Tense moments at the end of close NBA games are often highlighted because a single game-changing play can be decisive. However, coach Joe Mazzulla has consistently argued against this view, emphasizing that the end of each quarter is equally important.

In Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Tuesday night, the Celtics finished strong. Jaylen Brown’s improbable 3-pointer from the left corner with 5.7 seconds left in regulation sent the game to overtime. During overtime, Jayson Tatum overcame an inconsistent stretch to help secure Boston’s 133-128 victory.


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