BOSTON — Boston Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla isn’t a big believer in the short-term accolades, as was evident when the first-year interim head coach reacted to notching Eastern Conference NBA Coach of the Month honors for October and November.
Before the Celtics prepared to play their second consecutive game against the Miami Heat, Mazzulla made it clear that his NBA recognition for Boston’s league-best start — 18-4 before Friday’s tipoff — spoke more volumes of the team collectively rather than in regard to his coaching.
“I think it shows more of the trust and the buy-in that we have from the guys,” Mazzulla said. “So we’re appreciative of that. And it shows the well-roundness of our staff. So, I don’t think the staff gets enough credit for, you know since all this started, their ability to just buy in and push forward. And so the guys we have are great as far as their work ethic. I think they build great relationships with the players.”
Mazzulla added: “I think it says a lot about the people we have in the organization. The trust, the buy-in, work ethic. … I’m very grateful, I’m blessed for the opportunity that I have. And like I said, it’s not just me. So, it should be like, ‘Staff of the Month,’ it should be, ‘Organization of the Month.’ … If the guys don’t listen and buy in and trust, then it doesn’t really matter.”
Mazzulla wasn’t the only member of the Celtics to receive honors for his 2022-23 campaign start, as Jayson Tatum was named Player of the Month for the Eastern Conference, having averaged a career-high 31.6 points alongside 7.8 rebounds and 4.5 assists on 48.8% shooting from the field.
The Celtics and Heat (10-12) tipoff at 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday from TD Garden. Boston entered the contest, winners of five straight, including 10 in a row at home.