Things went from bad to worse for the Boston Celtics, losing 128-102 to the Miami Heat in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The Heat now lead the Celtics 3-0 in the series and will look to close it out on Tuesday night. First-year head coach Joe Mazzulla has been cited as one of the factors in the Celtics’ struggles. If the Celtics fall to the Heat, will Boston fire Mazzulla?
Joe Mazzulla Could Be Fired
.@WindhorstESPN isn't shutting down the idea of the Celtics moving on from Joe Mazzulla 😳
"When you have a collapse like this … It's dangerous. … I can no longer say that I don't think it's possible that [the Celtics] would make a change [at head coach]." pic.twitter.com/MYpXLvvEfP
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) May 22, 2023
After losing in the finals a season ago to the Golden State Warriors, the Celtics entered the 2022-2023 season as one of the favorites to win it all.
Then, Ime Udoka was suspended for the entire season for violating team rules. Mazzulla was selected as the interim head coach. After going 42-17, the Celtics named Mazzulla the head coach and signed him to a contract extension this past February.
However, it’s been tough sledding during these playoffs for the 34-year-old first-time coach. The defense, which was the backbone of last year’s team, has regressed. After finishing the season second in defensive ratings, the Celtics are 10th in the same category during these playoffs.
With the Celtics falling behind in the series 3-0, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst now thinks Boston could move on from Mazzulla.
When asked if Mazzulla would return next year, Windhorst said, “A couple of days ago, I would have absolutely said no question.” Now, Windhorst believes the team could “make a change [at head coach].”
Fourth Coach In Four Years If Mazzulla Is Fired
Joe Mazzulla took accountability for the Celtics' Game 3 loss. pic.twitter.com/viaTbkjkDw
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 22, 2023
If the Celtics fire Mazzulla, it would be the fourth head coach in four years for the Celtics.
To Mazzulla’s credit, he has elected to fall on the sword for his players, taking full responsibility for the disappointing series.
However, when Jayston Tatum and Jaylen Brown combine for 26 points on 12/35 shooting, including 1/14 from three, the Celtics will not win regardless of the coach.
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