Celtics’ Oshae Brissett shines in long-awaited opportunity behind support from Joe Mazzulla

Joe Mazzulla typically likes to remind Oshae Brissett why the Celtics signed him within the first place this summer season.

On Feb. 21, 2022, Brissett killed the Celtics. A member of the Pacers in his third season within the league, Brissett torched the C’s for 27 factors, together with six 3-pointers. Mazzulla reminds him of that efficiency to emphasize how good he’s, that he’s been a productive participant within the NBA.

“All the time,” Brissett confirmed, smiling. “Just being confident in myself.”

Mazzulla might have discovered these phrases of affirmation extra crucial not too long ago. Because of how proficient the Celtics are, and with out a number of minutes to spare, Brissett – nearly as good as he could also be – discovered himself on the surface wanting in on the rotation. For three weeks, Brissett didn’t play. He missed seven consecutive video games.

But circumstances modified on Friday. The Celtics have been lacking 4 gamers – Kristaps Porzingis, Al Horford, Luke Kornet and Dalano Banton – and Mazzulla wanted to dive deep into his bench. Brissett’s time, lastly, got here firstly of the second quarter. There was actually some rust to shake off – Brissett dedicated two foolish fouls in a 12-second span – however he created the spark they’re all the time hoping he can present. Jayson Tatum discovered him for a reverse layup. He drilled a nook 3-pointer. He dunked it on a pleasant feed from Jrue Holiday. He performed strong protection and gave nice vitality on the glass.

Brissett made all 4 of his pictures and completed with 11 factors in 18 minutes in a really productive stint. On an evening when a number of of the deep Celtics reserves made an influence of their win over the Magic, Brissett’s effort was one more instance of an encouraging early theme: Boston’s depth is sweet, they usually have taken benefit of each alternative.

“He’s been in this league. He’s played on good teams. He’s been coached,” Mazzulla mentioned of Brissett. “Like, he’s just a professional. So it goes back to just the work that he puts in every day. I have no hesitation going with any of those guys on any day because I see what they do daily. So you almost want opportunities like this to affirm their work ethic and their professionalism. And Oshae, we talk just about every day, and I just appreciate his maturity, and I thought he played great.”

Brissett has performed greater roles in his profession and doubtless may have gone elsewhere to seek out that in free company, however selected the Celtics for an opportunity to be a part of a championship staff. He has embraced a lesser position. He works arduous on off days to remain prepared for moments like Friday. And in his conversations with Mazzulla, they discuss particular methods he can influence the sport.

“He made a good point when him and I talked the other day,” Mazzulla mentioned. “When you get to watch the game, you get to see what our team lacks at times, and then you start to develop an identity of, ‘I can be this for our team.’ And so, as he’s been on different teams, he’s had different identities and he’s seen that he can be that energy guy, whether the great screener or (creating) advantages, offensive rebounds.”

On Friday, Brissett lastly had an opportunity to translate that to the courtroom. He rewarded Mazzulla’s confidence in him, which by no means wavered.

“I feel like I’ve said this word a million times, but honestly just being confident,” Brissett mentioned. “That’s something that started really in the summer, when we went over our roles and how he views me as a player. Just going out there and doing what they want me to do, the reason they signed me, and that’s rebound, defend, knock down open threes and just be confident playing the game of basketball. So, that’s something we talk about a lot. Every time we make jokes or walk into each other, stuff like that. It feels good, having a coach that believes in me.”

Home courtroom benefit

With Friday’s win, the Celtics improved to 13-0 at house. It’s the second time in franchise historical past that they’ve received their first 13 house video games of a season. The different time got here within the 1957-58 season, after they began 18-0.

The Celtics’ house dominance is a vital improvement. They dropped six video games at house throughout final season’s playoffs, together with three within the Eastern Conference Finals that included the Game 7 loss that ended their season. The Celtics actually don’t need that to occur once more and have delight in profitable in entrance of their followers and defending TD Garden, however they’re saying that this dominant house stretch is rooted in an effort to play the best method on a regular basis, no matter circumstances, conditions or location.

“We’ve dropped numerous games that we shouldn’t have or that we didn’t want to over the years at home,” Jaylen Brown mentioned. “I feel that coming into the season, one, we received a stellar group and I feel that contributes to it, however total the mentality is like, can’t skip any steps, like each shootaround, each observe, each warmup anytime, even after we stroll into the bus, we gotta concentrate on what the job is, what the final word purpose is and what our mission is.

“And as the leader on the team, I’ve been making sure that, personally myself, I ain’t skipping those steps, but I’m not allowing nobody else to skip any steps either. And I think that’s why we’ve been able to have such a good run at home.”

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