The Boston Celtics hit the jackpot by landing head coach me Udoka, who just led Boston to the Finals in his first year. Despite a slow start, Udoka figured it out and was able to get his players to perform on a different level than we’ve seen before.
We saw Udoka go through the trials and tribulations of a first year head coach in regards to lineups and rotations, as well as minute distribution. In fact, he only used three players on his bench for a majority of the turnaround we saw in the second-half of the season.
Although, to be fair, Udoka didn’t have the greatest supporting cast in terms of bench depth and simply just didn’t have more than a handful of players that he trusted. And it was evident throughout the entire season.
Once acknowledged, it didn’t take long before Brad Stevens stepped in and made a change. By cleaning up the roster he also created a balanced team and added a serviceable player that he knew Udoka could utilize and had prior experience with in Derrick White.
Since then, Udoka got his players to fully invest in his vision while Stevens hasn’t stopped working towards creating a championship roster. In doing so, Stevens acquired Malcolm Brogdon and Danilo Gallinari this summer, which ESPN deemed as the best moves of the offseason.
All that said, Udoka will be able to create lineups and rotations with confidence in his second year as a head coach.
We should see Udoka become more creative with play design and decision making with more confidence in his team. Almost as if his coaching abilities from the sidelines are so strong that it’s like the Celtics have six players on the court.
Udoka set the bar high for himself last year and with a revamped roster, we’re going to be able to see him take his coaching skills to the next level.
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Photo Credit: Lynne Sladky, AP