Joe Mazzulla downplays Miami Heat’s culture ahead of Eastern Conference Finals series with Boston Celtics'
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Boston Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla appeared to downplay the Miami Heat’s culture ahead of the teams’ matchup in the Eastern Conference Finals.

“I mean everybody has a culture,” Mazzulla said. “I think we have ours as well. Both teams have shown that they’re able to get through good times and bad. And that says a lot about the players in the organization, more than anything.”

Heat fans and players have praised Miami’s winning culture for getting the most of players, even when other teams have passed on them. Miami currently has undrafted free agents such as Gabe Vincent, Caleb Martin, Duncan Robinson, Max Strus and Haywood Highsmith all making impacts for the team in the playoffs.

There’s no doubt that Boston has established a strong culture as well, as the team has consistently made deep runs in the playoffs, especially since drafting forward Jayson Tatum.

In fact, this season’s series will be the third time in four seasons that the Heat and Celtics meet in the Eastern Conference Finals. That’s an impressive accomplishment from both teams and their respective cultures.

The path to the Eastern Conference Finals has been different for both teams this season.

The Celtics entered the playoffs with the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference and have widely been considered one of the favorites to win the NBA Finals after losing to the Golden State Warriors in the Finals last season.

Miami, on the other hand, made the playoffs by way of the play-in tournament, ending up with the No. 8 seed. The Heat shocked just about everyone in the NBA by upsetting the Milwaukee Bucks in just five games in the first round of the playoffs. Then, they defeated the New York Knicks in six games in the second round.

Jimmy Butler has been terrific for the Heat in the playoffs, averaging 31.1 points per game, but the team has gotten contributions up and down the roster to make it to this point.

Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra and team president Pat Riley have built a winning culture that has stood for many years, and this year’s team is no different.

The Heat will look to show Mazzulla and the Celtics what their culture is all about starting in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday night in Boston.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.