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On opening night, the Celtics honored the life and the forever-enduring legacy of Bill Russell; Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown scored 35 points apiece, and Joe Mazzulla earned a win in his first regular-season game as an NBA head coach.

After the victory, Boston's star players conveyed their belief in Mazzulla, who at 34 is the youngest active head coach in the NBA.


“I think he’s been great. Joe is tough as nails. Even in the midst of everything, all the turmoil, you could look into his eyes (and) see he was ready," Brown said of Mazzulla.

"I'm super happy for him, making the most out of this opportunity and getting your first win as a head coach on your first try, that's big," Tatum declared, adding, "he's very honest; he doesn't know everything. He wants us to help him out as much as he's helping us out."

Speaking to that collaborative process, while discussing how the job's going compared to his expectations for it, Mazzulla expressed the following about the players he's working with.

“I appreciate their trust (and) their buy in, but they’ve been able to come up with a lot of good stuff as well.”


Tatum, who paired his 35 points with a team-high 12 rebounds, plus four assists, a steal, and a block, also said of Mazzulla, "you could always see that Joe had all the makings of becoming a head coach someday."

Tatum also shared that a humble Mazzulla wouldn’t take any of the credit for Tuesday night's win, a victory Mazzulla described as follows.

“Overall performance was good. (We) did a great job maintaining our poise," adding, "once we were able to get back to the flow of the game by not fouling and getting stops, we were able to focus on our execution.”

And on a night where the TD Garden crowd performed up to its electric expectations, the Rhode Island native stated, “I pride myself in the Boston fans and the city of Boston, and when they’re cheering for you, that means you’re doing something right.”

On opening night, while honoring Bill Russell and testing themselves against a rival, Mazzulla and the Celtics started the season in the right direction.


Further Reading

The Top 5 Plays from Celtics-Sixers Opening Night Matchup

Here's What Stood Out in Celtics Opening Night Win vs. Sixers

Grant Williams on Not Getting a Contract Extension from Celtics: 'it doesn't mean that a deal won't get done in the future'

Robert Williams Undergoes PRP Injection That May Delay His Season Debut

Regular Season, But Neither Side at Fault

Malcolm Brogdon Explains Why He Chose Celtics Over Eastern Conference Rival

Should the Celtics Trade for Jae Crowder?