Toucher & Hardy

Toucher & Hardy

Toucher & Hardy

The Boston Celtics are amidst a slight slide losing four of their last five contests. Head Coach Joe Mazzulla is catching heat for questionable decisions, as well. Some also view the first-year coach as particularly snippy when conducting interviews with the media.

On Wednesday’s Toucher & Rich program—Mike Gorman, play-by-play commentator for the Celtics on NBC Sports Boston, joins the show to discuss these topics and more!

Parts of conversation abbreviated for clarity.

  • gorman

    Boston Celtics play-by-play commentator Mike Gorman (AP Photo) SOURCE: Elise Amendola

  • Rich: What did Ime Udoka do right that Joe Mazzulla is doing wrong? With Mazzulla, we don’t have a large enough sample size. It just seems that he is leaving us with question marks due to some questionable decisions that he’s made. Right now, the Celtics don’t look ready for the playoffs.  

    Mike Gorman: I think Joe has done a really good job given the circumstances he was handed— 

    Rich: —But, I’m sorry, I just want to say I think we should stop judging him given the situation he was put in. Especially now that they just made him the head coach. Now, he has to be a good coach. 

    Mike Gorman: Yes, he does have to be accountable for his decisions. He’ll have a chance to show us whether he’s making good and bad decisions over the next 15 or 16 games. And then in the playoffs too.  

    There’s not a big sample size with him. There are no previous coaching experiences to consider because we’re all still finding out about him. We’ve got a new textbook, and everybody’s learning at the same rate.  

  • Mazzulla

    GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA – OCTOBER 07: Interim head coach Joe Mazzulla of the Boston Celtics speaks with the media prior to the game against the Charlotte Hornets at Greensboro Coliseum Complex on October 07, 2022 in Greensboro, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

  • Mike Gorman: I’m willing to give Joe the benefit of the doubt. I can hear him sometimes in timeouts and huddles. For example, with the Grant Williams situation the other day, if I can read lips correctly, Mazzulla was saying, “Hey, this is not about you here. Get back to the game here. You missed a couple of free throws. Big frigging deal. Move on, will you, please?”.  

    I like to see things like that. Those comments were called for, by a good coach, at that particular moment. I guess I’m more willing to cut the coach slack right now than you are, Rich.  

  • Fred: When do you think Mazzulla will calm down with the media? 

    Mike Gorman: Joe? He’s just trying to find his way. One minute he’s Gregg Popovich, and the next he’s telling you everything you want to know. Again, you’ve got to cut this guy a little slack here. Sometimes with Abby [Chin], I want to grab him and say, “Give this woman a break. Will you, please? Don’t give monosyllabic answers. She’s trying hard to do an interview.” 

    Again, I think he’s trying to find his way as a coach and as a person who, every single day, has to deal with the media. Whether he’s giving the Popovich method of firing back at the media or going with the young coach technique of talking to reporters for a long time, he’ll find out who “Joe” is, who “Coach” is, and what his style will be. He’ll have to do that every single night. 

  • Full Segment

  • Ryan Beaton is a producer for You can follow Ryan at @ry_beaton on Twitter.

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

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