Friday, January 5, 2024

Joe Mazzulla earns Eastern Conference Coach of the Month honors

The NBA has named Joe Mazzulla Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for December after leading the Celtics to a league-best 12-2 record.

This is the second time Mazzulla has won the award, after taking it home back in November of 2022 -- making him the third coach in franchise history with multiple Coach of the Month honors behind Doc Rivers (6) and Brad Stevens (3).

Boston posted an 8-1 record for the month against teams over .500 and a rode a six game win-streak heading into 2024 to have an overall record of 26-7. The C's also scored an average of 126.5 points per contest in December -- for its second-best offensive month in team history, trailing only the 126.8 point per game average in January of 1960 -- while hitting a league-high 16.6 made 3-pointers per game during that stretch at a 39.2% clip.

Mazzulla is off to a great start since taking over has head coach in October of 2022, going 57-25 in his first season and making it to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals last spring.
"I think Joe has done a great job of right out of the gate saying this is how we need to be. This is what we need to do for each other to be the best that we can be. These are the strengths of your teammates. How can we get that out of them are make that a focal point?" Brad Stevens said in a presser following team practice Thursday afternoon.

"People use the word 'sacrifice' a lot. It's the idea of serving your team, being there for the good of your group, and I think he's done a great job of that all the way through."
Derrick White was also nominated for Eastern Conference Player of the Month before the award was given to Milwaukee Bucks All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo.

White averaged 20.3 points per game on 50.8% shooting from the field and 43.5% from deep in December. The veteran guard also had a team-high 5.4 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.8 blocks throughout the month.

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of Getty Images

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