The Boston Celtics beat the Phoenix Suns, 127-112, on Thursday night. The game was basically over and then Jaylen Brown finished things off with a dunk and forced the Suns to call a timeout with just under three-minutes remaining. That’s when Royce O’Neal, who was 0-for-7 from the field, attempted a shot that did not count. A shot which was contested by a leaping Joe Mazzulla.

Yes, that’s a head coach attempted to block a shot. As noted during the broadcast, it was weird, but hey, Coach Mazzulla wouldn’t ask his players to do something dumb and pointless if he wasn’t willing to do something dumb and pointless himself.

“I saw a guy going in to try to get a shot and he hadn’t made one and I didn’t want him to feel good about himself going to the bench. Gary asked me about that a month ago and that’s the bench rule. Guys don’t shoot shots in front of our bench to go. back to their bench to feel good about themselves. If I’m gonna ask the guys to contest the staff’s gotta do the same.”

Does he hear how ridiculous that sounds? Does anyone? The game was over at this point and Boston will not see Phoenix again until the NBA Finals or next season. Royce White immediately exited the game with the rest of Phoenix’s main guys.

I’d love for some basketball stat nerd who gets paid to research this kind of nonsense to find a single example of this either working or not working. A time when someone made an extra shot after the whistle and then made immediately made another shot coming out of the play stoppage. Or a time when someone refused to let a guy see a shot (that didn’t count) go in and then they lost the confidence to shoot or make a shot.

This has been a lame practice since Kevin Garnett started goaltending shots that didn’t count two decades ago. I have a feeling it’s never once made a difference in a game. And a coach doing it seems even dumber.

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