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Joe Mazzulla on Robert Williams: “He’s in a great mind frame”

The Celtics interim head coach offered updates on Robert Williams and Luke Kornet after the team’s practice on Tuesday.

Miami Heat Vs Boston Celtics At TD Garden Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

After Tuesday’s practice, Celtics interim head coach Joe Mazzulla gave some updates on the injured Celtics Robert Williams and Luke Kornet. Williams is still on the mend from his knee operation a few weeks ago, and Kornet suffered an ankle injury that he’s currently rehabbing.

On Kornet, Coach Mazzulla said, “He’s getting better each day, seems to be in a great mind frame...still day-to-day, hopefully he can get back whenever he’s healthy.” Mazzulla was unsure whether or not Kornet would be back in time for Wednesday’s matchup, but said that Kornet said he was doing better.

With Boston’s center depth a topic of concern, Kornet was expected to take on a larger workload with Robert Williams out 8-to-12 weeks to start the season. When asked about what Rob can do and what he’s participating in during his recovery, Mazzulla said, “He’s there for the film sessions, he’s getting treatment, and today he shot free throws. So, just resting.”

Mazzulla added, “he’s in a great mind frame.I He knows the treatment room is his basketball court right now, and he’s doing a great job of getting treatment and building toward that (return).” While it’s a minor update, it’s good to know that Williams is making some progress in his rehab as well as staying around the team and improving in other ways.

After being suddenly thrust into the head coaching role following the suspension of Ime Udoka, Joe Mazzulla has kept a steady hand as he takes over the reins of this roster. On getting into the flow of the team as a head coach and leader, Mazzulla said, “I think we’re all leaders, in our own way. These guys are really good at what they do, and they’ve been around a long time. So, it’s just a collaborative mindset. We all understand what we need to do to get to where we wanna go, and we’re all just trying to make each other better.”

When asked if anything was different since taking over as head coach, Mazzulla joked that all that’s changed is he’s lost his voice from talking more. He continued: “Other than that, no...we’ve got a great group of guys, on and off the court. As much as we can work together and be on the same page about what we need to do to get to where we wanna go, I think it’s important.”

Discovering this team’s identity have been a common thread throughout Mazzulla’s public statements since taking over coaching duties. On figuring out creation and facilitating for the Celtics, Mazzulla said his focus has been to “figure out what our strengths are as a team, and understand where our depth is, and how we can increase our depth...We have good ballhandlers, and we have smart bigs. We can play a couple different ways, it’s just a matter of how do we build awareness to that and how we execute it.”

Mazzulla also took time to praise Malcolm Brogdon’s performance against the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday, where the veteran guard dropped 11 points, 9 assists and 5 rebounds in Boston’s 134-93 blowout win. “I thought Malcolm did a great job,” said Mazzulla. “He was great facilitating, gave great energy in the second half. We tailor our offense around all of our players. Especially him, with the ability to get out in transition, ability to dictate the pace, I thought he did a great job at those things.

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