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Boston Celtics have gone from NBA championship favorites to a team in disarray almost overnight

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In the 2022-23 season Boston Celtics should be on top. After taking two fewer wins from last year’s championship, they were considered favorites all summer to win the 2023 championship. Now that training camp is about to begin, they have become a team in disarray.

Ime Udoki’s one-year suspension for consensual sexual misconduct with a female Celtics employee — Celtics majority owner Vic Groesbeck called it a “lot of infractions” on Friday — has cut the ground from under his feet. the whole organization.

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Bad news has been pouring in for the Celtics over the past three weeks. Newly acquired Danilo Gallinari tore his anterior cruciate ligament. On Friday, the team announced that Robert Williams III had a second surgery on his left knee this will suspend him for eight to 12 weeks, which means he can be out after Christmas.

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Williams tore a meniscus in that same knee late last season and then struggled with pain in the playoffs, though he still missed seven playoff games. Is it possible that he did more damage playing on a knee that wasn’t fully healed? Will this latest “clean-up” procedure be the end, or will it keep popping up for Williams, who has quite a long injury history in his short career.

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Boston, of course, hopes not. Williams is a legitimate contender for Defensive Player of the Year and the ultimate weapon to play in the ring. He pounds offensive glass. He has top-notch DeAndre Jordan chops, and don’t let yourself forget how truly awesome Jordan was with the Clippers.

Hanging in the background, does Jaylen Brown have any grudge against the Celtics for getting his name in the cauldron of trade rumors this summer? Brad Stevens noted his open dialogue with Brown, who is certainly no stranger to trade talks. But you have to think that Brown will consider that he has reached a level of organization where he can feel more confident in his position.

It’s not that important. This is just another one of the potential paper cuts that led to the gaping wound that is Udoka’s behavior and subsequent suspension. On Friday, Stevens, who sat next to Grosbeck at a press conference no one wanted to attend, officially announced that Celtics assistant coach Joe Mazzulla would replace Udoka on an interim basis.

Mazzulla’s appointment is controversial. In 2009, Mazzulla was arrested and charged with domestic violence after allegedly grabbed a woman by the neck and strangled her in a bar when he was a student from West Virginia and a basketball player.

Stevens addressed the allegations on Friday, saying that Mazzulla is “110% responsible” for his past actions, but also that he, referring to Stevens, “believes[s] strong, which probably formed [Mazzulla] into who he is today, in a really good way.”

I’m not here to be the moral police. Mazzulla resolved these situations legally. People can make mistakes and learn from them. But this, obviously, and rightly so, will be the main topic of discussion in the future. Optics matter. A team that suspends one coach for inappropriate behavior with a woman replaces him with another coach who allegedly strangled the woman.

You’ll always hear teams and players talking about not being distracted, and the Celtics, already mired in a PR mess, have just added another one to their plate. They clearly think Mazzulla is worth the headache. Stevens raved about his ability to “bring a room to life”.

If Mazzulla is good, questions about whether he’s really ready to replace Udoka for good will only get louder as the season progresses. Perhaps the plan is to end up breaking up with Udoka for good. In any case, none of this will disappear. The Celtics are in crisis mode. This is an unprecedented situation. They are still a very good team that expects to fight for the title, but you can’t say that all this hasn’t affected them. Will they be able to overcome it, that’s the problem.



Source: www.cbssports.com

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