Lakers want to interview Celtics assistant Sam Cassell


“Even though he’s a former player, he’s one of those guys that wants to study the game, learn the game. “

Celtics assistant coach Sam Cassell has a wealth of experience as a player and a coach.

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The Lakers have received permission to interview Celtics assistant Sam Cassell for their vacant head coach position, according to ESPN.

Cassell, who joined the Celtics staff last June, is one of several assistant coaches the Lakers have asked to interview. The other candidates include Nuggets assistant David Adelman, Timberwolves assistant Micah Nori, and Pelicans assistant James Borrego.

Cassell played 15 seasons in the NBA and won a title with the Celtics as a player in 2008. He spent five seasons with the Wizards as an assistant before working on Doc Rivers’s staff with the 76ers and Clippers.

“He’s been on every seat on the bench in the NBA,” Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla said. “So he knows how to communicate with every single player because he’s been where that particular player has been. One of the first things he does on the plane, watches film. “

“Even though he’s a former player, he’s one of those guys that wants to study the game, learn the game. Loyal. Communicates well. He’s a good coach, great coach. Happy to have him.”

Charles Lee, the top assistant on the Celtics’ staff, was named head coach of the Hornets last Thursday. He is expected to remain on the Celtics’ staff through the end of their playoff run.

Cleaning the glass

Jayson Tatum has picked up most of the rebounding slack with Kristaps Porzingis out.

He’s averaging a team-high 10.4 rebounds per game, good for eighth in the league. He’s totaling 3.5 more rebounds per game than Jaylen Brown who is second on the team list.

“I think (it’s) just his ability to impact the game in different ways,” Mazzulla said. “With the matchups changing, a lot of times he’s on a five or a guy closer to the basket and he’s got to be able to box out, rebound, and he’s done a really good job of that. It’s one of the points of emphasis against this team and we’ve got to make sure we continue to rebound at a high level.”

Challenging thoughts

Mazzulla challenged a foul call on Al Horfordduring a key moment in the fourth quarter Monday night and got the call overturned. Horford blocked a Darius Garland layup attempt with 4:04 remaining in the game.

Garland would have been at the free-throw line with the chance to trim the Celtics lead to 5. The Celtics clung to their slim lead and ended up winning by 7. It was Horford’s third block of the postseason.

“They said it was contact to the head and then we had an angle where it wasn’t, so once we had that angle we felt comfortable challenging it,” said Mazzulla.

Mazzulla said he hasn’t switched up his process for coaching challenges during the postseason.

“Same as the regular-season, same process,” Mazzulla said. “What’s the timeout situation, whose mandatory is it, how many points can you save? All those things kind of go into it. Obviously, block-charges are a little bit — they don’t get turned over as much because there’s a 50-50 call. It’s also depending upon the call, but same process as the regular-season.”

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