Toucher & Rich

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During this morning’s Toucher & Rich radio program, Andrew Callahan from the Boston Herald discussed Joe Mazzulla’s coaching performance and post-game comments, noting his accountability. He also speculated that Mazzulla may have received guidance from someone within the organization after the game. Andrew criticizes Mazzulla’s coaching issues but acknowledges his improvement in Game 4 and his willingness to take responsibility while drawing parallels between Mazzulla’s interactions with the media to Bill Belichick’s style.

  • Dec 5, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Boston Celtics interim head coach Joe Mazzulla talks to Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) as he comes to the bench during the second half against the Toronto Raptors at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

    John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

  • Callahan also reflects on his experiences covering both the Celtics and Patriots, remarking on the similarities in press conferences and the differences, emphasizing the importance of coaches taking ownership of their team’s performance, noting that both Belichick and Mazzulla have demonstrated the same behavior after losses.

  • LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 18: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots watches his players warm up before a game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium on December 18, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Raiders defeated the Patriots 30-24. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

    LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – DECEMBER 18: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots watches his players warm up before a game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium on December 18, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Raiders defeated the Patriots 30-24. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

  • TRANSCRIPT:

    Rich: You got to think that Brad Stevens sat him down after some of his stuff. I’ll give him credit. Not only did he coach well in Game 4, but he said all the right things afterward. There was no peacocking. There was “no one gonna ask me about adjustments”. it was a humbled coach it seemed like. It almost seems like, after all of those weird looks that you saw from Wyc Grousbeck towards the side there. That sounds to me as if somebody had kind of a come to Jesus talk with Mazzulla after that game.

    Andrew Callahan: Aa someone who’s ripped Mazzulla in Print specifically after Game 1 in Game 2 look at your issues for the whole regular season, your crunch time offense, your occasional lapses with effort and urgency on defense, and just teams out hustling overall are still here. This is a coaching problem, Give him a lot of credit. He coached a great game in Game 4. It wasn’t all about the timeouts. Never been all about the timeouts. But you’re right, from a media standpoint, that’s what you want to see is someone taking accountability. He’s also still the youngest coach in the league. He’s down two assistants, one of which he lost mid-season. They just did not replace it for whatever reason. I think it was a real disservice to him. But I think this little crossover for yourself, Celtics, and the Patriots. Joe Mazzulla came to Patriots training camp about a week before the Ime Udoka news broke last summer. I was like, that’s a little weird. He’s a Rhode Island native. It’s not that far, but they had an off day. If you look at his media interactions, would you guys not say he’s been following the Belichick playbook?

    Rich: We have been saying that. But at least the one thing you can say is, well, he (Belichick) won, so he has the right to be condescending. When you do that and you’ve won nothing, that’s the strange and also unearned entitlement that you’re seeing.

    Andrew Callahan: I’m not here saying it’s the right or wrong way. It just hit me that my first press conference there, I think it was mid-January. The Patriots season is over. I’m going to help cover a Celtics-Pacers game and he’s doing the same spiel. And I almost want to laugh to myself because I just cannot get away from this and all the press conferences. I’ll push back on some of that, though, because they play 82 games he’s got before. He’s got after. I mean, we get Belichick four times a week during the season. That’s 18 weeks including the bye. You got plenty of pre-season training camp even in May. It might be lower a little bit. Of course, the difference is the resume. I think the important note for me was after that loss, just as you’ll see Belichick do and he’s spread the blame around a little bit more, but he’ll say, It starts with me, I need to be better. I didn’t coach well enough and then we need to play better, coach better. And that said, after a loss. So Joe seemed to do the same thing the other night.

  • LISTEN HERE:

  • Nick Gemelli is a Producer for the Toucher and Rich program and contributor for 985thesportshub.com. you can follow Nick at @NickGemelli on Twitter.

    Follow @Toucherandrich on Twitter, @Toucherandrichofficial and @fredtoucher on Instagram to keep up with the show!

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