Celtics coach Ime Udoka has been suspended for the entire 2022-23 season, leaving the Celtics without a man in charge. In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, Udoka was recently suspended after being accused of inappropriate behaviour with female staffers, leaving the team no choice but to suspend him. It’s unclear whether that suspension will continue indefinitely, but for now, the Celtics will have to find a new coach.
Ime Udoka most recently led the Celtics to the finals, so his loss will be a bitter pill to swallow for the fans. Additionally, the new season is right around the corner, leaving the team without much time to replace him. It raises the question of just what’s next for the Celtics. Will they be able to turn things around and recover, and how do fans feel after coming so close to the Championship last season? If you’re interested in betting on this season, you can find the best NBA odds at Betway.
Who Will Replace Udoka?
While the Celtics reached the finals last season, they came up slightly short against the Golden State Warriors. In the end, Curry was too much for the Celtics to handle, but there were still positive signs for the team going forward. Now, all that is undone and the Celtics need to find a replacement. According to recent reports, they’ll go with assistant coach Joe Mazzulla. The former college basketball player has been an assistant coach at the Celtics since 2019 and is likely to be made interim coach at least until the end of the season.
While Mazzulla has the knowledge and understanding of this Celtics side, he lacks experience in major roles. At only 34, this will be his first role as a head coach of an NBA team. Considering the Celtics will be hoping to reach the finals once more, they’d ideally need someone with a better resume. This will be a steep learning curve for Mazzulla and also a chance to impress. He was formerly offered the head coach role at Utah Jazz, and he opted for loyalty towards the Celtics. Now his loyalty is being repaid, but it remains to be seen how well he’ll do.
Can the Celtics Reach the Finals Again?
While the loss of Udoka has no doubt shaken up the team and raised some doubts, they still have an incredibly strong side. The current feeling in Boston is that this team is more than capable of reaching the playoffs and competing for the Championship once again. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are still two of the most exciting young talents in the NBA, and they can help the Celtics reach new heights if they continue improving.
Tatum can improve by improving his strength and learning to draw fouls more effectively. During the finals, he struggled to get his offense going due to the strength of the Warriors’ defense. For Brown, improvements can come through relying less on his dribbling to get through players and keeping his eyes up to improve his passing vision.
Outside of these two players, the Celtics can also improve their overall game by working together better, particularly in offense. In addition, they can benefit from being more adaptable and working better with measured aggression. Overall, they had a great season but didn’t quite have enough for the final hurdle. Losing Udoka will cause new problems for the Celtics, but they have the players they need to mount a challenge.
As well as their current squad of established players, the Boston Celtics have plenty of other talents developing in the wings that suggest that this team could become a powerhouse for many years to come. A lot rests on the success of this season and whether Mazzulla can continue where Udoka left off.