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#pounditFriday, July 19, 2024

Report reveals Celtics’ stance on Joe Mazzulla’s future

Joe Mazzulla on the sideline

Dec 16, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla watches from the sideline as they take on the Orlando Magic at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics did not look prepared in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Monday night, but it does not sound like the poor performance is going to cost head coach Joe Mazzulla his job.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on Tuesday that signs point toward Mazzulla returning as head coach of the Celtics next season. Mazzulla’s future looked a lot more uncertain when the Miami Heat beat Boston in the first three games of the series, but the near-historic comeback may have saved the 34-year-old’s job.

“The impression I’m getting right now is the Celtics and Mazzulla will look more toward stacking and elevating his bench with more veteran assistants. They need some depth on that staff,” Charania said. “I think they’re gonna look more toward that this offseason. There definitely was momentum built in this series. You win three in a row, make this a series where you go into Game 7 at home and have a chance to make history.

“If he got swept I think there would be a lot more questions. The fact that it did go to Game 7, I think it allowed the Celtics to see that there is a little bit of runway and some potential here.”

Charania also noted that Mazzulla still has roughly $14 million remaining on the extension he signed early in the season when the Celtics removed the interim tag.

Mazzulla was unexpectedly thrust into a head coaching role when Ime Udoka was suspended and then fired for his alleged involvement in a scandal. There were plenty of growing pains for the young coach, but Boston ultimately fell just one win short of reaching the NBA Finals. Most people would agree that the season was a success overall given the circumstances.

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