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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Celtics set to pursue banner 18 after tension packed offseason

JD Conte

Last season, the Boston Celtics ended their stellar season with an unfortunate loss against the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals series, leaving the city with a lingering taste of a potential championship.  

However, that eagerness to finally bring home a trophy may be too much to hope for, as off-season changes to the Celtics could prove to be detrimental to the organization as the 2022-2023 season kicks off.

The biggest change the team has made in the offseason comes in regard to the coaching staff. Ime Udoka, the head coach of the Celtics, recently received a one-year suspension from the Celtics organization that extends through the end of the season. 

The suspension was said to be due to several violations of the Celtics’ code of conduct. Udoka was reported to have had a consensual relationship with a female employee.

“The power dynamic associated with a superior’s improper relationship with a staff member was the primary finding and policy violation cited in the law firm’s report,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski wrote

The employee involved also claimed inappropriate language was used towards her prior to and during the relationship. The decision to suspend Udoka was handed down soon after the situation was made public.

With Udoka out of the picture this season, assistant-turned-interim coach Joe Mazzula will take over responsibilities for the foreseeable future. He has plans for the upcoming season to build upon last season’s successes.

“The great thing about this organization, the players that we have, and the season last year – we have a formula for what we know we need to do in order to get better every single day and get back to where we want to get to,” said Mazzula in a press release. 

The offseason has also seen departures and new additions to the roster. General Manager Brad Stevens has recently made a few trades that have promising results for the team. Guard Malcolm Brogdon was a major player acquired by trade in the offseason.

The organization traded Malik Fitts, Juwan Morgan, Daniel Theis, Aaron Nesmith, Nik Stauskas and a 2023 first round draft pick to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for Brogdon.

Brogdon is set to be a sixth man in the rotation. He played in two out of the four preseason games and has proven to be a strong addition to the team. On the Pacers, he averaged 19.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game last season. Brogdon left early into the Oct. 14 preseason game against the Toronto Raptors due to right leg soreness and is listed as day-to-day for the season opener.

Returning players have also been drumming up news. In late August, Jayson Tatum revealed he played most of the finals run with a wrist injury. Tatum has stated that the injury, which was sustained in February 2022, resurfaced during game three of the series against the Bucks.

“I dunked it, Giannis (Antetokounmpo) chased me down, and he fouled me and I fell into the crowd, and that was the most painful it’s been since that day that I hurt it,” said Tatum in an interview with the Bleacher Report.

The new information brings some context to Tatum’s unusual playing pattern in the postseason. Fans are optimistic that with this injury healing in the off-season, there is going to be far more consistency in Tatum’s playing abilities going forward.

With an ever-improving bench, hopes are high going into the new season. Players like Payton Pritchard and Sam Hauser continue to prove themselves in preseason games, gaining more on-court experience.

While the bench continues to improve, the starting line-up regains the skill and experience necessary to succeed in the finals. Returning players like Marcus Smart and Al Horford return eager to make the first games of the season worthwhile. 

Even with the drawbacks, the Celtics are still looking like a major contender, but only time will tell if this season will prove to be just as promising as the last.

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About the Contributors
Julia Capraro, Editor-at-Large | she/her
Julia is a sophomore broadcast journalism and psychology major from Canton, Massachusetts. In addition to writing for the journal, she is President of Suffolk Visual Arts Club. She loves cooking, crochet and reading in her free time.
JD Conte, Sports Editor | he/him
JD is a senior from Wallingford, Conn. double majoring in political science and broadcast journalism. Aside from writing for the journal, JD can often be found in Studio 73 working on his broadcast skills. Off-campus JD can be found watching all the Boston and UCONN sports teams. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends in various spots around the city, especially in East Boston and the North End. After graduation JD hopes to work in a newsroom full-time or pursue a career in the sports industry. Follow JD on Twitter @jdconte617 Email him at [email protected]

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Celtics set to pursue banner 18 after tension packed offseason