Ime Udoka is consistent, if nothing else.
The Boston Celtics head coach hasn’t been shy about calling out Celtics players, in private and in public, during his first season as head coach. Given the importance of chemistry to any team, some inside the basketball community suspect Udoka’s frequent public criticism might drive a wedge between his players and himself, The Athletic’s Jay King reported Thursday, citing NBA sources.
“Outside league sources have wondered if he has gone too far already, not just with the willingness to call out players but with the persistence of his criticism,” King wrote.
However, intense criticism from a coach doesn’t always backfire, especially if the young recipients of Udoka’s barbs accept them as constructive. That might be the case in Boston.
“Internal sources insist players appreciate that he has been so consistent with his messaging and have been open to his teaching,” King wrote.
The Celtics are 25-24 and are in eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings. Their record is mediocre, but recent defensive improvement suggests the C’s are starting to reflect Udoka’s on-court ideals better than they did before.
Then again, if Boston’s progress is short-lived, it might suggest Udoka isn’t reaching Celtics players as well as King’s internal sources hope.