Boston Celtics: 3 bold predictions ahead of the 2022-23 season

Jaylen Brown #7 and Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Jaylen Brown #7 and Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Boston Celtics
Interim head coach of the Boston Celtics, Joe Mazzulla (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /

Boston Celtics bold prediction No. 2: Joe Mazzulla will win Coach of the Year

As previously mentioned, the Celtics encountered a pretty big roadblock to their quiet yet successful offseason when Udoka was suspended for the entire campaign. That forced assistant coach Joe Mazzulla into the spotlight, and he will be tasked with taking over for Udoka and doing what he was unable to do last season; win a title.

The stakes are pretty big, and it seems like a daunting task for Mazzulla considering all the expectations this team has and the fact that this will be his first head coaching gig in the NBA. Luckily, Mazzulla has familiarity with the team, and it’s a team that could probably go out and win the majority of their games without a head coach at all.

Still, Mazzulla is going to have to take control of the locker room and step out of Udoka’s shadow. We saw last season that when this team isn’t buying into the system, they can struggle. The isolation-heavy style of basketball that kills this team isn’t as far gone as many peopole think it is, and if the players don’t  buy into Mazzulla’s system, it could rear it’s ugly head again.

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While many have their concerns, it feels like Mazzulla is in a great spot to succeed this season, and if he does, he will get considered for the Coach of the Year award based on how he ended up with his new job. Mazzulla had been an assistant with the Celtics for the past three seasons, is familiar with the roster, and he was basically hand-picked for this job by Brad Stevens, who hasn’t made many bad decisions ever since becoming the team’s President of Basketball Operations.

Boston is widely expected to win somewheree between 50 and 55 games, and it feels like if Mazzulla can lead the C’s to 55 wins or higher, he’d be a shoo-in for the award. It says here that Mazzulla will end up walking away with some hardware after a strong first season as the team’s head coach, setting up the Celtics to make yet another deep run in the playoffs.