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Joe Mazzulla will return as Celtics head coach following disappointing playoff exit



The Boston Celtics are on their third head coach in three seasons, and the organization will not be making another change. 

On Thursday, Celtics team president Brad Stevens told reporters Joe Mazzulla is the right man for the job following Boston’s Game 7 loss to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals. 

Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens observes the action while attending a college basketball game between the Virginia Cavaliers and the Boston College Eagles Feb. 22, 2023, at Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill, Mass. (Erica Denhoff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

“Yeah. I think he is,” Stevens said when asked if Mazzulla was the best head coach for the team moving forward. 

“He’s a terrific leader,” Stevens added. “He’ll only get better at anything that he can learn from this year because he’s constantly trying to learn. And he’s accountable. Those leadership qualities are hard to find.” 



Mazzulla became head coach of the Celtics just days before the start of training camp after Ime Udoka was suspended for the entire 2022-23 season for “violations of team policies.” 

Mazzulla took over a team coming off an NBA Finals appearance in which Boston took the Golden State Warriors to six games. 

Joe Mazzulla talks to the media

Head coach Joe Mazzulla of the Boston Celtics talks to the media after a game against the Philadelphia 76ers during the Eastern Conference semifinals of the 2023 NBA Playoffs May 14, 2023, at the TD Garden in Boston.  (Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Celtics started the season 21-5, finishing with the second seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. 

“I think when you consider the position he was thrust into and the overall accomplishments of the group, I thought he did a really good job,” Stevens said of Mazzulla to start the press conference. “I mean, when you look at it, in the big picture, and having a team that was second in offense, second in defense, won 57 games, and has a chance to go to the NBA Finals on your home court, there’s a lot of direction and organization that goes into that. I thought that he did a good job.”  

Despite having the second-best record in the NBA, the Celtics struggled during the NBA Playoffs before eventually falling to Miami. 

Joe Mazzulla coaches against the Heat

Head coach Joe Mazzulla of the Boston Celtics reacts during the second quarter in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Miami Heat at TD Garden May 29, 2023, in Boston.  (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

In the first round, Boston needed six games to defeat the Atlanta Hawks after blowing a double-digit fourth-quarter lead in Game 5. 


Against the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round, Boston required a fourth-quarter comeback to steal Game 6 on the road before Jayson Tatum put up a historic performance in Game 7. 

Boston then became just the fourth team in NBA history to force a Game 7 after falling behind 0-3 in a series before being blown out Monday at home in the Eastern Conference finals. 

The Celtics now enter an offseason with difficult decisions ahead of them with Grant Williams about to enter restricted free agency and Jaylen Brown eligible for a supermax contract extension after being named second-team All-NBA. 

Source: Fox News


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