"Let it be known": Isiah Thomas joins fans in heaping praise as Joe Mazzulla matches Bill Russell's milestone

Isiah Thomas has high praises for Joe Mazzulla being youngest coach to reach NBA Finals since Bill Russell
Isiah Thomas has high praises for Joe Mazzulla being youngest coach to reach NBA Finals since Bill Russell

The Boston Celtics pulled off an Eastern Conference finals sweep of the Indiana Pacers on Monday night, leading Isiah Thomas to praise Boston's Joe Mazzulla for his outstanding coaching. There was a lot of skepticism, especially with last year's ECF loss, regarding Mazzulla being promoted as Ime Udoka was suspended in September 2022.

Mazzulla, at 35 years old, is the youngest coach to lead a team to the finals since Bill Russell did so, also at 35, for the Boston Celtics in the 1969 NBA Finals. Before that milestone from the Celtics legend, Russell also led the team to a finals appearance in 1968 at 34 years old.

The difference with what Russell did was that he was also playing alongside his teammates. He logged 48.0 minutes per game in the seven-game championship run against the LA Lakers in 1969.

Similar to the Celtics' 18-point Game 3 comeback against the Pacers, the Celtics overcame a deficit entering the fourth quarter. With just 55.4 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Boston executed properly in the clutch to get a 3-point lead off a Jaylen Brown pass to a steady Derrick White in the corner.

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"Congratulations to my Coach of the Year Celtics," Thomas posted. "@celtics Joe Mazzulla is now the youngest head coach to make the @NBA Finals since Bill Russell. Let it be known."

During the 2023-24 regular season, Joe Mazzulla led his Celtics squad to a dominant 64-18 record with complete home-court advantage throughout the NBA playoffs. The team also ranked first offensively and second defensively across the league. Despite an impressive year, Mazzulla only finished fourth in the Coach of the Year race.

However, Isiah Thomas made sure that people were aware of his COTY vote going to Mazzulla over the other candidates.


Isiah Thomas congratulated Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown for winning the 2024 ECF MVP award

Following an impressive showing for Jaylen Brown against the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference finals, he was awarded the ECF MVP award. Known to have the same award in his professional resume, Isiah Thomas tweeted congratulations to the three-time NBA All-Star.

"Congratulations @FCHWPO, @celtics, let it be known!" Thomas posted.

It was an impressive achievement for the Celtics star who had one of his worst playoff series last year against the Miami Heat. It was a disappointing outing for Brown that resulted in months of criticism heading up into the NBA playoffs.

However, it was clear from the start of the season that this was a different version of himself that people were not accustomed to seeing. From his much-improved decision-making to making another leap defensively, Brown was prepared for this moment.

In the leadup to the NBA Finals, Brown showcased his tremendous growth, which was one of the many reasons his Boston Celtics secured a ticket to the final round of the postseason. From everything he has shown, Isiah Thomas was well aware of the greatness he just witnessed.

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