Sitting at the core of the success of the Boston Celtics in 2022 is Ime Udoka, and for his part, he’s being recognized as the Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for March/April 2022. He also won the award in February 2022.
Dallas Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd and Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka have been named the NBA Western and Eastern Conference Coaches of the Month, respectively, for games played in March and April. pic.twitter.com/qqFmoqeZev— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) April 12, 2022
Udoka led Boston to the best defensive record in the league (tied with the Golden State Warriors). His defense-first approach has decimated the league in the 2022 calendar, pushing Boston to a 28-7 record over its last 35 games after starting the season 23-24. Udoka’s principles have been there from the start, but after the team had time to adjust to the system (and some well-timed personnel moves from Brad Stevens in the front office), this team has been a juggernaut.
Ime Udoka is the first Celtics coach to earn this honor in back-to-back months since Doc Rivers in 2008.
Over the course of March and April, the Celtics went 15-4, including an 11-1 start to March before injuries affected the end of the month. Finishing with an overall record of 51-31, the Celtics sit comfortably in 2nd place in the East, earning home court advantage in every possible playoff series but one despite being the 11th seed as recently as January.
While the start of the season was rocky, Udoka has proven all the doubters wrong. The next test is the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Boston will know its opponent tonight after the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Brooklyn Nets complete their Play-In game later this evening. The winner will go on to face the Celtics when the NBA Playoffs begin on April 17th.