The Celtics beat the Wizards 130-121 on Sunday evening, moving themselves to 6-0 on their current homestand and 16-4 on the season.
The win helped them remain at the top of the NBA standings, 1.5 games ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks, and they did so on Sunday without their star Jayson Tatum. The current MVP favorite (+275 at BetOnline.ag) sat out with an ankle injury.
Boston’s success with and without Tatum could be due to another NBA prop favorite at BetOnline.ag. Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla is currently the favorite to win Coach of the Year at +250. Here is the sportsbooks top five:
Odds to Win NBA Coach of the Year
Joe Mazzulla +250
Will Hardy +450
Rick Carlisle +750
JB Bickerstaff +1000
Mike Brown +1100
Through Mazzulla’s first 20 games as head coach, the Celtics have the best record in the NBA at 16-4, the best offense in the NBA at 120.4 PPG, the best net rating in the NBA at 7.33, the best point differential in the NBA at +141, the best true shooting percentage in the NBA at 123.1%, and the best +/- in the NBA at +7.1 (h/t @StoolGreenie).
That’s pretty good.
Not only that, but it’s becoming clear that he’ll become the Celtics’ full-time head coach at season’s end. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Joe Mazzulla’s “interim” tag is basically just a formality now and it will be removed after the season. The only thing standing in the way is the legal situation surrounding former head coach Ime Udoka.
After Sunday night’s win without Tatum, Mazzulla said, “I’m pleased. Like I said before the game, our depth, guys – no matter who’s out – our guys are always ready to play and they always step up. I thought Jaylen did a great job making the right play, getting the ball where it needed to go, and I thought everybody else followed suit. That’s a compliment to them for our depth, and a compliment to guys making the right play.”
Winning games like this, and being able to rely on Jaylen Brown and the rest of the Celtics’ depth, is exactly what will give Mazzulla a chance to win Coach of the Year.
Boston is right back at it on Monday night as they’ll take on the Hornets from TD Garden at 7:30pm. They are 10.5-point favorites according to BetOnline with #0 expected to return to action.
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