With Mazzulla being the first Celtics coach to begin a season 2-0 since Doc Rivers did it in 2009-10, there’s a possibility that he could end up being the coach in Boston for the long haul, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
“The outlook for Joe Mazzulla is that he’s got every opportunity, even a likelihood, that he’ll be able to shed the interim tag at the end of the season and be the Celtics’ long-term coach,” Wojnarowski said on ESPN’s “NBA Countdown” Friday night. “Brad Stevens certainly believed in him when he put him in the job but the relationships with the players — it’s one thing to be an assistant coach and have a relationship, it’s another to be a head coach [with the players].
“I think for Joe Mazzulla, right away he challenged his team and said ‘Listen, people think we’re going to be vulnerable now.’ He really got them on course with his leadership. You see the ball moving, you see them playing fast. This is a Celtics team, with all the talent they have, I think having the key players on his side, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and Marcus Smart, that’s been immense for him.”
“He wouldn’t have (taken) any of the credit for tonight, but the thing that I like about Joe and admire about him is that he’s very honest that he doesn’t know everything,” Tatum said following Tuesday’s win. “He wants us to help him out as much as he’s helping us out. It’s like we’re in a relationship, and we’re all on the same page and trying to accomplish the same thing. We’re all in this together.”