BOSTON — Joe Mazzulla is clearly doing something right in his debut season as Celtics head coach, whether it’s cheesy or not.
Boston has gotten off to a roaring start, opening up with an 18-4 record after a runaway win over the Miami Heat on Wednesday night at TD Garden. The Celtics’ offense has been the star of the show, outscoring their opponents by an average of 17.6 points per game over the course of a five-game winning streak. Boston’s offensive rating over that stretch averages out to 1.332, outpacing the NBA average this season (1.122) and the NBA record stretched across an entire season (1.183), according to Celtics radio voice Sean Grande.
The first two months of the season have looked easy for Boston, which is especially impressive if you consider the turmoil it went through just before it started. Mazzulla wasn’t even supposed to be the Celtics’ head coach, being thrust into the position following Ime Udoka’s year-long suspension. Nevertheless, Mazzulla and his team have looked the part of an NBA Finals favorite. Part of the reason? Sandcastles.
“Joe has this image every time we come into the film room, he shows a video or a picture of a sandcastle,” Tatum said postgame. “And the metaphor (is), ‘You build the best sandcastle on vacation, then the tide comes up and is going to wash it away.’ So basically, today was a good game. We won, but tomorrow when we throw on the film — Friday we have to build another sandcastle.
“It’s a little cheesy. But it’s something that we’ve bought in to. It’s a choice we’ve gotta make every day when we come in. We have to try and be the best version of ourselves, knowing that it’s never going to be easy.”
The Celtics have clearly done a good job of playing each game individually, only losing two-consecutive games one time, and winning 14 of their last 15 games.
Mazzulla has clearly earned the trust and respect of his team, and as the odds-on favorite to become the NBA’s Coach of the Year, he’s done the same with the betting public. Maybe if he wins the award they’ll build it out of sand.