Celtics

Tatum reveals how Mike Muscala impressed him in Celtics debut

Celtics

The Boston Celtics didn't wait long to incorporate Mike Muscala into their lineup.

The veteran forward -- who the C's acquired from the Oklahoma City Thunder before Thursday's NBA trade deadline for Justin Jackson and two second-round picks -- made his debut with the franchise Friday night when it hosted the struggling Charlotte Hornets at TD Garden.

Forsberg: Everyday Derrick White a luxury for hospital Celtics

Muscala made a strong first impression, hitting his first 3-point shot and four of the eight he attempted overall. He finished with 12 points, two assists, one rebound and one block in 16 minutes of action off the bench as the Celtics cruised to a 127-116 win.

"It was really fun. The energy in the arena was amazing," Muscala told reporters postgame. "You can just tell the fans love the game here. It was just a blessing. It was fun."

Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, who scored a game-high 41 points, was impressed with Muscala's performance.

"I was joking with him -- he hit his first shot and we were sitting on the bench and I was like, 'Man, that’s big time,'" Tatum said in his postgame press conference. "To come to a new team, never practiced with us, come in and knock down your first shot, just as a basketball player I know how good that felt. We can just see how important he can be for us -- big body, long arms, obviously can stretch the floor. I'm glad we got him."

 

Muscala's ability to stretch the floor and hit outside shots was among the aspects of his game that made him valuable to the Celtics. He entered his debut shooting 39.4 percent from 3-point range, and he improved that percentage Friday night. He can also play power forward or even center in small-ball lineups, giving interim head coach Joe Mazzulla another versatile option on the bench.

Muscala isn't likely to play a massive role on this Celtics team, but that doesn't mean he won't be an important bench player for the group. He brings a couple valuable skills that the C's will utilize each night.