The NBA season is long and if you finish with a winning record, you're likely to make the playoffs. The team playing the best basketball in May and June usually wins the whole thing. Getting hot and playing great is more important than home court advantage, but having home court does have value.
With this in mind, how should a coach use the regular season? Go all out to win every game to secure the best seed possible? Or, not worry too much about winning every game and instead focus on getting better as a complete team?
From a fan's perspective, it looks like Udoka is going for the wins as his priority. I conclude this primarily on his short rotations and lack of trust in his bench. That's understandable. He's a rookie coach and needs to establish credibility with the players, front office and fans.
I would like to see him take a longer view. Work on developing chemistry and habits of good play. Focus on player and team development. The Celtics have enough talent to be in the mix by trading deadline. At the point start going harder for wins.
To draw an analogy with the NFL, good teams often have mediocre Septembers and Octobers but become hard to beat in November and December. Good NBA coaches do the same with their teams. This is where Brad Stevens needs to help Udoka to see the big picture - give him the confidence to rest Al Horford in a close game even if it puts a possible win in danger.