The speech that triggered the Celtics’ turnaround lasted less than a minute
“Don’t ruin the season after a bad week”
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As the Celtics grappled with the realities of the 3-0 hole they put themselves in, one of Joe Mazzulla’s assistants offered some perspective.
Boston concocted the NBA’s second-best multi-month record. Then they beat the Hawks in six games and narrowly avoided elimination against Philadelphia with a victory in Game 7.
As Boston struggled against Miami, it was a few positive words from a Celtics assistant that may have helped turn the tide.
“Don’t ruin the season after a bad week,” Celtics assistant coach Matt Reynolds told the team, according to The Athletic’s Jay King.
The Celtics responded, winning back-to-back games and forcing a Game 6 in Miami on Saturday night.
“Sometimes you have a bad week at work,” Mazzulla said. “We obviously didn’t pick the best time to have a bad week, but we did, and we’re sticking together and fighting like hell to keep him alive, and the guys are really coming together. “
Marcus Smart reportedly said Reynolds wasn’t very talkative. But Reynolds spoke up, telling the players “I have something to say.” The speech was not long, between 35 and 45 seconds. But Reynolds got his point across.
“He killed it,” Celtics guard Derrick White said. “He kill he.”
White said Reynolds is respected in the Celtics locker room because of the work he does there. He joined the Celtics as a video coordinator before becoming an assistant coach.
Smart, who joined the team before Reynolds, said the team responded well to his message.
“I’ve been here nine years and I haven’t really heard him be that passionate when he talks like that,” Smart said. “But we are all adults. We all grew up together. And we all find ways to help this team win. And that was one way he could find to help us. We needed it. We really needed it. »
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