Joe Mazzulla and the Boston Celtics are counting down the days to next Tuesday’s regular-season opener.

The Celtics are looking to begin what they hope is a to return trip to the NBA Finals. Mazzulla, meanwhile, is still getting adjusted to the responsibilities and “great opportunity” he has as the organization’s interim head coach.

Mazzulla, who has been part of the Celtics organization since 2019, is familiar with the team’s returning players. But he continues to learn how things are different with his new title.

“It’s just figuring out what each guy needs, and building that relationship with them,” Mazzulla said following Wednesday’s practice. “Whatever each guy needs, I think it’s my job to be willing to do that.”

As a former point guard, communicating and directing traffic comes naturally to Mazzulla.

He says he has grown a better understanding of how his words impact his players since being appointed interim head coach in late September.

“It doesn’t have to be a four-hour meeting. It can be a 30-second conversation. And having a 30-second conversation with someone can just really affect how they are, positively,” Mazzulla said.

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Boston is 2-1 during the NBA preseason and has one preseason game remaining before the regular season gets underway on Tuesday, Oct. 18.

Mazzulla and company will play four games against Eastern Conference playoff teams from a season ago.

Despite the expectations of his group to have another successful season and run into the postseason, the former Mountaineer isn’t getting ahead of himself. Nor is he looking at the big picture too intently.

“I think at the end of the day, regardless of if it’s Game 6 of the NBA Finals or it’s the first game of the night, it always comes down to can execute the fundamentals, and can you execute those details,” Mazzulla said. “So, I think, if we can keep that as a habit, I think it can help us down the stretch.”

Mazzulla has been seen on the court participating in drills at recent Celtics practices.

It’s a practice he did as an assistant, and says he wants to continue in order to not lose his identity with the team.

“I just kind of be myself, there’s times where I just like to be on the court with the guys,” Mazzulla said. “I think that’s a way to just build a relationship with the guys.”

Mazzulla will make his NBA regular season head coaching debut on national television, as Boston’s season opener against the Philadelphia 76ers will be carried on TNT beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Boston’s second game of the season, scheduled for three days later in Miami, will be nationally televised on ESPN.