Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla explains why he sleeps with his mouth taped shut originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The Boston Celtics have hit a rough patch with three consecutive losses and four defeats in their last five games.
But despite the recent struggles, it's been an impressive 2022-23 season for the team and its new head coach Joe Mazzulla.
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Mazzulla, who had the interim tag removed from his title before the All-Star break, has done a good job leading the Celtics to the second-best record in the Eastern Conference entering Wednesday's game against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Forsberg: C's must rekindle defensive brilliance that led last year's Finals run
Throughout the season, Celtics fans have learned more and more about Mazzulla as a coach and a person. On Wednesday, we learned that he sleeps with his mouth taped shut.
"I still do it. Highly recommend it," Mazzulla said on 98.5 The Sports Hub show "Zolak & Bertrand."
What's the story here?
"There's sleep tape. I actually have a mouthpiece, I upgraded to a sleep mouthpiece, and that kinda helps with it," Mazzulla said. "When I got into the NBA, I kind of learned how long of a season it is physically, mentally and emotionally. And I think coaches and players have to find ways to take care of themselves. It's important to optimize as much as you can.
"I remember my first year in the league, I wasn't used to having all this great food around. Food in the facility, pregame, postgame, food on the plane. I got really worn down and tired halfway through my first year. I just took a different approach and was like, how can I optimize to make sure I'm at my best as a coach, so sleep is really important and mouth tape plays a part in that for me."
Watch the full segment in the video below:
Whatever works, right?
Mazzulla has enjoyed a rapid rise in the coaching ranks, going from assistant to head coach in short order. He's actually the youngest head coach in the league at 34 years old.
Sleep is definitely important, especially for someone under a lot of pressure at work, and Celtics head coach would certainly fall into that category.