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The Celtics Will Lose The 2024 NBA Finals Because Of Ime Udoka

Ime Udoka is why the Celtics won’t win the NBA Title this year. 


Why does nobody talk about how significant that story from a few summers ago was? Ime had just led the Celtics to the Finals- where they lost to the Warriors- but that season was still undoubtedly an overarching success. Or, at least, Ime Udoka had proven himself.


A Strange Summer Story


Yet, when he was fired, most of the commentary regarding the situation revolved around the story's details. What happened? No one knew (it was one of the weirder sports stories I’d seen in a while), yet no one talked about the long-term ramifications of his firing.


Fast-forward to this season and Ime is undoubtedly one of the best coaches in the NBA. What he did with the Rockets this season was truly special, but we’ve all seemed to forget that he was once the perfect pairing for this Jayson Tatum/Jaylen Brown duo. 


Mazzula Madness


I now turn to the man who replaced him: Joe Mazzula. 


Do we all not remember how terrible he was last year in the playoffs? He made strange substitutions and was unable to call timeouts. And let’s not forget that he has one of the weirder personalities out of all the NBA coaches. (This is not an indictment on his coaching, but I’m not a fan.)

 

The biggest issue for me is the way the Celtics run their offense. Despite having one of the more talented rosters in recent years, the C’s are content to just watch as Tatum goes into his “bag” and chucks up step-back three-pointer after step-back three-pointer (you’re 6 '8? Maybe go to the basket every once in a while?) 


I blame Mazzula. Now, the Ime Udoka-lead Celtics had their fair share of offensive issues (I’m looking at you, Marcus Smart), but it wasn’t nearly as bad as what we see today.

 

There is no doubt in my mind that if Ime were still coaching the Celtics, this series against the Mavs would be a sweep… and they might even have already won a chip. 


What was once just an ominous summer story has now reared its ugly head as the reason this historic Celtics team will go down in history as one of the best teams never to hoist the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy.


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