Al Horford's sister Anna commends Joe Mazzulla for phenomenal work as Celtics HC: "Hope he gets his flowers"

Al Horford
Al Horford's sister Anna Horford is hoping Joe Mazzulla gets recognition for how he has been coaching the Boston Celtics. [photo: Horford IG, Celtics IG]

Joe Mazzulla finished fourth in the NBA Coach of the Year race, a recognition that was given to OKC Thunder tactician Mark Daigneault. Despite guiding the Boston Celtics to a 64-18 record, the only team to breach at least 60 wins, Mazzulla received only two first-place votes. Under his leadership, the Celtics consistently overwhelmed opponents with a historically great offense and an elite defense.

Mazzulla has also done a terrific job in the playoffs, particularly in the NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks. Boston is now two wins away from their 18th championship. The Celtics’ coaching staff will be even more tested as the series shifts to Dallas for Games 3 and 4.

Anna Horford, the sister of Celtics star Al Horford, had this to say about Joe Mazzulla leading into Wednesday’s showdown:

“I hope Joe Mazzulla gets his flowers because what he’s done for this team cannot be overstated. He’s been exactly who they’ve needed.”

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The Boston Celtics swung for the fence this season by trading Marcus Smart, Malcolm Brogdon and Robert Williams in separate deals. In return, they got Jrue Holiday and Kristaps Porzingis out of those transactions. But while the roster changed, Mazzulla continued holding the trust of the front office.

With Mazzulla at the helm, the Celtics have held leads of at least 20 points 48 times this season, playoffs included. They have lost just twice when they have had such an advantage. Boston’s 123.2 offensive rating before the playoffs is the best in NBA history. They are 11-0 in the postseason when leading by double digits.

Joe Mazzulla’s Celtics aren’t hanging their hats on offense only, though. The Green Machine ranked second in the regular season in defensive rating with 110.6. In the playoffs, they are even stingier with a 107.6 DRTG.

Boston limited Dallas to 89 points in Game 1, the lowest in the playoffs for the Mavericks. The Celtics also handed the Mavs their first back-to-back losses in the postseason. Mazzulla’s crew can be overwhelming on both ends of the floor.

Joe Mazzulla could be the sixth coach to lead the Celtics to a championship

Joe Mazzulla is on track to join an enviable list of coaches who led the Boston Celtics to a championship. The legendary Red Auerbach, K.C. Jones, Tom Heinsohn, Bill Russell and Doc Rivers are the names etched in Celtics coaching lore. Mazzulla is two wins away from getting his membership pass to that club.

Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens named Mazzulla an interim coach in September 2022. Six months later he was promoted to head coach and given an extension. Stevens praised the quiet Mazzulla for his leadership and accountability.

Joe Mazzulla has been a finalist twice in the race for the NBA Coach of the Year. He may not have won the award but he could be lifting a more prestigious trophy in the next few days.

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