When Joe Mazzulla was designated the Boston Celtics’ interim head coach this season, he was put in the line of fire. He had been a member of the Celtics’ staff since Brad Stevens, the team’s former head coach, named him an assistant in 2019.
When Stevens took over the front desk, he continued to work for Ime Udoka. And despite Udoka’s illegal relationship with a subordinate and subsequent year-long suspension, he was given the responsibility of guiding the team.
While Udoka’s offenses could have ended the Celtics’ season, Mazzulla has instead led the team to one of the NBA’s finest records. Additionally, according to ESPN’s Stats&Info page, his 12-3 record in his first season as the Celtics’ head coach puts him tied with Chris Ford for the team’s second-best start through 15 games. In Bill Russell’s first 15 games as Celtics head coach, only Bill Russell had a better start.
Joe Mazzulla is 12-3 to start his head coaching career. That is tied with Chris Ford for the 2nd-best record by a Celtics head coach through his first 15 career games.
The only Celtics head coach with a better record through his first 15 career games was Bill Russell. pic.twitter.com/RyJyeoXhXF
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 17, 2022
Ford spent seven years as an assistant coach before taking over as Celtics head coach in the 1990–1991 season. He steered the Celtics to a 12-3 start that year. Prior to the 1966–1967 season, Bill Russell took over as the Celtics’ head coach. Through his first 15 games, he had a 13-2 record.
Jayson Tatum has been having a stellar year under Joe Mazzulla. While shooting 49.1 percent from the field and 36.8 percent from three-point range, he averages 31.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 1.4 blocked shots a game. He has emerged as one of the MVP Award’s top contenders.
At 120 points per game, the Celtics are the highest-scoring club in the NBA. Their 12-3 record is the best in the league as well as the Eastern Conference. With Jayson Tatum on the court and Mazzulla in charge, the Celtics unquestionably appear to be a group determined to return to the NBA Finals.