Just before the start of the 2022-2023 NBA season, the Boston Celtics, were dealt a bad hand when their head coach, Ime Udoka was suspended for one year for violating team policies.
Uncertainties filled the air regarding who the Celtic's front office would hire to take the head coaching job. Moreover, how would the news affect the players going into the new season?
In September, the Celtics decided to hire Joe Mazzulla as the interim head coach, and ever since then, the Celtics have been rolling to an NBA's best 21-5 record and winners of their last 21 out of 26 games.
The Celtics are dominantly winning too. Almost a third of the Celtic's games this season were won by 15 points or more.
In their latest match-up on Dec. 8, against the West's best Phoenix Suns, the Celtics laid the smackdown and defeated the Suns by 27 points. The lead grew as much as 45 points in the third quarter. NBA legend Magic Johnson took notice and gave the Celtics praise. He claimed Boston is undeniably the best team in the NBA.
So I think it's safe to say the Joe Mazzulla hire was the perfect fit, as the Celtics are clicking on all cylinders. The Celtics are #1 in the league in scoring average, 120.8 points per game, and #1 in average scoring margin at +8.8.
That's not all!
The C's are #1 in effective field goal percentage (58.9), free-throw percentage (84.4), three-point percentage (40.0), and three-pointers made (16.6).
There are 12 players in the NBA shooting over 45% from the three-point range. The Celtics have 4 of them.
Jayson Tatum And Jalen Brown The Best Duo In The League?
It is obvious to see why the Celtics are dominating the NBA this season. Star players Jayson Tatum and Jalen Brown are on a mission and are playing out of their minds. The dynamic duo is such a deadly combination because they can score on all three levels. Tatum is #4 in the league in scoring average (30.5), while Brown is #12 averaging (26.7).
Tatum is having an MVP-type season. We all knew he could score, but he has taken his offensive ability to another level during the 2022-2023 regular season. Tatum can shoot the ball from deep, hit consistent mid-range shots, and make tough baskets at the rim. He became the first player in Celtics franchise history to score 8,000 points before turning 25.
Tatum is a pure craftsman, and the MVP discussion does not start without his name first.
Tatum's counterpart Brown is playing his best basketball as a pro. Brown is averaging 26.7 points per game, shooting 51.1% from the field. He is super athletic, shifty, and light on his feet. Brown is also an elite defender who can guard multiple positions for the C's.
The Celtics Role Players Play A Huge Role
The Celtics have one of the deepest rosters in the NBA. It is a pressure relief for Tatum and Brown, who do not have to carry the load night in and night out. Guys like Marcus Smart, Malcolm Brogdon, and Derrick White are valuable pieces and another reason for the C's success.
After a heartbreaking finish in the NBA finals last season, the Celtics will need the depth to get back to the finals this season and win.