Joe Mazzulla got annoyed for not acknowledging Marcus Smart’s NBA Hustle Award

PHILADELPHIA – Celtics Coach by Joe Mazzulla interactions with the media during its first season often oscillated between being awkward and irritable. Thursday evening, after a brief videoconference with reporters, it emerged that Mazzulla was once again frustrated with the line of questioning.

“I’m the worst coach ever,” he said after getting up from his chair at the end of the session.

But it turns out Mazzulla just regretted not acknowledging the guard. Smart Marcus. During the videoconference, Mazzulla was asked about Smart winning the NBA’s Hustle Award for the second year in a row. He then realized that he hadn’t congratulated Smart on the honor.

“Someone here asked me the question and my eyes lit up. I was like, ‘What an idiot,'” Mazzulla said Friday, before Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center. “As I was finishing up I was just like ‘Fuck it’ and then I texted him right away. That’s important. I think in situations I know it’s about the team and our guys do that, but I really like to show appreciation when guys get individual awards, especially like this one because of the sacrifice they put into it and the hard work they put in. So if I do something like that, I think I have to be better.

Earlier Friday, Smart said he was thrilled to win the award, which is based on a player’s advanced stats, for the second straight year and third time overall.

“That’s what I do,” he said. “You know, coming into this league I was proud of it and nine years later, at the age of 29, I still do it, and I still do it very well, so it’s a great prize. I know it doesn’t show up on the stat sheet, I know he doesn’t get recognition by scoring 30 points, but every team needs a guy like me who’s gonna come in and do the dirty work so Jayson [Tatum] And Jaylen [Brown] can go out there and do what they do best.

Horford’s Profound Thoughts

Al Horford made 44.6% of his 3-point attempts during the regular season, ranking second in the NBA. But the Celtics forward entered Game 3 just 5-23 from beyond the arc in the previous five playoff contests.

Horford mostly ignored the slight slowdown and insisted he was confident he would return to his previous form.

“Not much difference, really,” he said. “I still have good looks and will continue to photograph them. Even during the season, I had ups and downs. It’s just a part when you’re a sniper. You must raise them.

Griffin unavailable off bench

Celtics Forward Blake Griffin was inactive for Game 3 due to lower back pain. Griffin’s only playoff action came in Game 5 of the first round against the Hawks, when he played six minutes… 76ers center Joel Embid received his MVP trophy from the NBA commissioner Adam Silver at a pre-match ceremony.

Adam Himmelsbach can be contacted at Follow him on Twitter @adamhimmelsbach.

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