Woj claims Celtics players never got over Ime Udoka ouster

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski who's great at breaking NBA news, less good when it comes to his opinions, mentioned Celtics players not getting over Ime Udoka's dismissal as a reason for the team's current woes. It should be noted that Woj and Ime are served by the same agency.

The Celtics players certainly seemed to have moved on when they started the season like gangbusters. They also won their first two rounds of the playoffs. So it would seem odd that all of a sudden when they are one round away from being back in the NBA Finals they'd decide to derail those champinship hopes because they are still in their feels.

Woj opines that the Rockets recent hiring of Udoka may have triggered resentment in the players. According to Woj, the players never were told more than we know and they feel that the punishment was too excessive for the crime. I don't know how long Udoka's tough love approach would have worked, but he definitely was very much respected by the players.

Woj does bring up the point that I've been making for some time now in that the Celtics should have hired a veteran assistant. Udoka was suspended, so Mazzulla was promoted. When you combine that with also losing Will Hardy (to the Jazz) and Damon Stoudamire leaving prior to the playoffs, it's kind of inexcusable that the Celtics didn't add an experienced coach to the bench to replace any of these guys. Especially when you consider Mazzulla's X's and O's, as well as failure to properly use time outs, have been issues this whole season.

The players allegedly quit on Brad Stevens after having him as their coach for several years, so it would be a very bad look if they also quit on Mazzulla. I just don't buy Woj fully on this. I think while there might be some truth to it, he's making it a much bigger deal, because that's what talking heads all unfortunately do in 2023.