Wednesday, April 3, 2024

NBA named Joe Mazzulla Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for March

The NBA named Joe Mazzulla Eastern Conference Coach of the Month, the league announced Tuesday afternoon.

The Celtics, who clinched the No. 1 seed in the East and are on the verge of locking up homecourt advantage throughout a potential run to The Finals, finished March with a 12-4 record that included a nine-game win streak. 

Boston is a league-best 59-16 at a plus 15.8 net rating for the season, following a 118-104 victory over the Charlotte Hornets Monday to conclude a six-game road trip and go 4-2. 

Mazaulla led the Celtics to nine consecutive wins with eight different starting lineups from March 9-23, while posting a +17.2 plus/minus per contest during that span. The C's 14.8 point differential is the fifth-highest for the month of March in NBA history and ranks only second since 1986, to the San Antonio Spurs -- who in the 2013-14 campaign had a 17.4 point differential.

It's the third time Mazzulla has taken home Coach of the Month honors and the second this season after given the award three months ago for December.
"I think it's a testament to what we're building and what we're creating. So, it's a testament to the staff," Mazzulla told reporters back in January. "I wish they would change it to Staff of the Month because I'm not doing it by myself. I'm not the one controlling scouts. I'm not the one making the edits. I'm not the one doing the matchups during the game or coming up with lineup suggestions. That's the entire staff. Then, if the players don't let me coach them, I'm not really a good coach. So, I think it's a testament to the environment we're creating."
Former Celtics head coach Ime Udoka was named Western Conference COTM, as he had the Houston Rockets surging with a 13-2 record during March.

Meanwhile, Jalen Brunson of the New York Knicks won Eastern Conference Player of the Month honors, but both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown were each nominated for their play in March.

Tatum averaged 28.4 points, 7.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists in 14 games played, while Brown put up 27.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists per contest in 13 games. 

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of Getty Images

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