In spite of all the problems the Boston Celtics had to go through behind the scenes during the offseason, this team has still emerged as one of the best sides in the NBA. As a matter of fact, as of Saturday night, the Celtics are the very best team in the league with a 13-3 record.
There's no denying that Joe Mazzulla has played a key role in Boston's early-season success. There was initially some doubt as to whether or not the interim coach would be able to fill the shoes of Ime Udoka, but it has been so far so good for Mazzulla.
The team has clearly bought in on their new coach's system, which speaks volumes of just how much the players trust their coach. According to Jaylen Brown, it's a two-way street in that Mazzulla has also proven to his team how much he trusts them:
“I think so at times it’s good,” Jaylen Brown told reporters about Mazzulla's knack for not calling timeouts, via Brian Robb of Mass Live. “It challenges us for not only the situation at hand in front of us but to be better down the line. We’ve been in the NBA long enough to know how to get to our spots and how to correct some of our mistakes. We have a poised team so that’s a lot of trust from our head coach that he instills in our player and us to figure it out.
“To be honest, that’s what you want as a player. You want that relationship with your head coach that he’ll trust you out there that you’ll figure it out. For the most part, we have this year. We just have to keep it up and set our bar at a higher standard.”
This fruitful relationship between Mazzulla and his players has clearly paid off for the Celtics, and their league-best record is a clear testament to this fact.
There's no denying that this development has had a significant impact on the Celtics and their relationship with Udoka. The disgraced coach has already been linked to a move to an opposing team amid his season-long suspension, and it's likely that Mazzulla's strong performance early in the season has influenced the front office's supposed willingness to let Udoka leave.