Zolak & Bertrand

Mazzulla has a great take on Celtics' lofty playoff expectations

"Why wouldn't you want that?"

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The Boston Celtics are running away with the best record in the NBA and are on track have one of the best records in franchise history.

But Boston's massive success also comes with massive expectations.

Simply put, anything less than a championship would be a disappointing result for the 2023-24 Celtics, who are the prohibitive title favorites at 62-17 with three regular season games remaining. But as the Celtics know after losing in the 2022 NBA Finals and 2023 Eastern Conference Finals, winning it all is extremely difficult and can be even more challenging when the target is squarely on your back.

That's a lot of pressure -- and Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla loves it.

"I wouldn't want it any other way," Mazzulla told 98.5 The Sports Hub's Zolak & Bertrand during an in-studio interview Wednesday, as seen in the video above.

"I could never imagine having a job where I wouldn't wake up and want to be the absolute best at it. So, whatever happens this season, you have to wake up the next day and start getting ready for the next thing.

"Yeah, there's pressure. I put it on myself every single day to be the best coach, to win, to be the best husband, to be the best father. Pressure is looked at as something that's like a negative, but in reality, it's just something that's there, and why wouldn't you want that?"

Mazzulla has stressed the importance of mindset throughout his second full season as Celtics head coach. His players entered this season motivated by previous postseason shortcomings and willing to sacrifice individual results for team success, and Mazzulla has done a great job keeping them on task, even as they run away with the best record in basketball.

And while some might view Boston's lofty expectations as a burden, Mazzulla is helping his team embrace those expectations as they chase Banner 18.

"There's pressure, there's expectations, but that will never go away," Mazzulla added. "Like, it's always gonna be there. And that's been the coolest moment about this job, is finding the freedom and the peace and the love and the joy of that pressure.

"I feel like our guys this year, regardless of what's gonna happen, they feel they have that freedom, that peace, that joy towards going after something that you love."

The Celtics' postseason path will include plenty of challenges, especially if they face the Miami Heat or Philadelphia 76ers in the first round, which is a very real possibility. How they respond to those challenges will go a long way in deciding their fate, and their head coach appears well aware of that.

Check out the video above for more from Mazzulla on the Celtics' playoff mindset, as well as the video below to hear Mazzulla discuss studying the processes of previous championship teams.

Joe Mazzulla joins Zolak and Bertrand to discuss the difficulty of preparing for a championship run in the playoffs
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