Few individuals came under more fire as the Boston Celtics fell into an 0-3 hole in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat than Joe Mazzulla, the team’s first-year head coach who ascended into the role following the scandal that saw Ime Udoka lose his job. While the team was able to turn things around to force a Game 7 at home, Boston proceeded to lay an egg at TD Garden with a spot in the NBA Finals on the line, which led to a fresh round of criticism for Mazzulla.
Despite all of this, the team has no plans on making a change at head coach. During his end of season media availability Celtics President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens indicated his full support of Mazzulla heading into next year.
Is Joe Mazzulla the best head coach for the Celtics right now?
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) June 1, 2023
“Yeah, I think he is,” Stevens said when asked if Mazzulla is the best man for the job. “And I thought he, again, did a really good job with this group. Everybody’s gonna overreact to the best players and coaches after every game, that’s always the way it is. We know that going in, so we have to be able to judge things on the whole, and he’s a terrific leader. He’ll only get better at anything that he can learn from this year, cause he’s constantly trying to learn. And he’s accountable — those leadership qualities are hard to find.
“Was he perfect, would he like to have some moments back? Every coach would,” Stevens continued. “Even the coaches nobody talks about would, right? And we all, that have coached, know how hard that is. And at the same time, our players, our staff, everybody around him believe in him, and we’ve gotta do our best to support him going forward.”