Boston's new coach Ime Udoka's first press conference should give Celtics fans a lot of hope. If you were to use one word to describe the Celtics, it would be stale. Their new coach is about to shake things up. The Celtics' 18th coach will spare no one to bring the franchise their 18th title.
“They know I'm going to be on their ass. And that I'm going to push them. But they are alright with that. They want it. They want to win and get number 18.”
Ime Udoka, via Kevin Smith
"They" are, in particular, Jayson Tatum and Jalen Brown. The Celtics have 2 players that fit the most coveted description in the NBA - a wing scorer that plays great defense. Yet, the team has underperformed in the past two years, while Tatum and Brown have improved. That's partly due to bad roster construction, but the young stars have fallen into a "my turn-your turn" mindset, which had a bad effect on the team.
While he plans to be on Tatum and Brown, Udoka made it clear he understands that kind of approach doesn't work for everyone. While some thrive under it, others break. It's all about balance and figuring out which buttons to push. Speaking of being hard on people, Udoka fired a shot at the last person you'd expect. There are two things you knew a Brad Stevens team would do - play good defense and have a lot of ball movement on offense. Udoka addressed that in his press conference.
“Sorry to mention this Brad, but 27th in assists last year, we want to have more team basketball there.”
Ime Udoka, via Chris Grenham
Everyone wondered who would take on the challenge of having the former coach as your boss. Now we know - the guy who has no problem throwing a jab at his new boss in his first press conference. This is exactly what the Celtics need, someone who's gonna tell it like it is.
The talent on this team is undeniable. They have the hardest parts figured out. But that doesn't mean the rest of the equation is easy. A new head coach can make all the difference - ask Warriors fans. Ime Udoka's first press conference seems promising. Let's see if the team is ready to get pushed.
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