The Boston Celtics could be up 3-1 on the Philadelphia 76ers right now.
Instead, the series will head back to the TD Garden tied at two wins apiece.
Notably, the visitors had a big chance to win in Game 4, but Joe Mazzulla’s controversial decision not to call a timeout may have cost them that game.
The Celtics had the ball down one with less than 20 seconds to go in overtime.
Mazzulla chose not to call a timeout and let them play it out, which led to a bit of a scramble and the clock running out before Marcus Smart could shoot.
So, after initially defending his decision, the coach has now changed his mind, admitting that he should’ve called a timeout instead.
Joe Mazzulla: "Hindsight is 20/20, I should have called (a timeout at the end of OT) to help us get a 2-for-1 or get a couple more possessions. Obviously, 14 seconds left, down 1, you want as many chances as you can. So, definitely learn from that." pic.twitter.com/33rzyuNmhB
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) May 8, 2023
Mazzulla admitted that the Celtics could’ve tried to go for a 2-for-1 or at least get a quality look rather than scramble their way around to try and get something done.
Ironically, Smart’s Hail Mary three-pointer actually went in, but he pulled up too late, and the shot was waved off.
Calling a timeout or not in those situations will always be a dilemma and a subject of controversy.
On the one hand, you might get a better shot at putting the basketball in your best scorer’s hand.
On the other, it would also allow the defense to make adjustments and determine who’s switching, and the coach has a chance to sub-in the best defensive personnel.
Looking back, the Celtics had everything going in their favor to pull away in this series, but now we’ll get at least two more games of this heated rivalry.NEXT: Analyst Calls Out Celtics Coach For Adjustments In Playoff Series