Ime Udoka’s tenure with the Boston Celtics was short-lived, though highly successful. Before his removal from the organization in February, he led the team to its first NBA Finals appearance in over a decade.
Now, he has agreed to terms on a contract offer to coach the Houston Rockets, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported April 24.
Ime Udoka comes to the Rockets with a head coaching record of 51-31 during the regular season and a 14-10 record in the playoffs. In his one season as head coach of the Celtics, he guided the team to the second seed in the Eastern Conference.
Celtics’ Jayson Tatum ‘Wanted to Scare’ Trae Young in Game 4
The Boston Celtics came away with a pivotal Game 4 road win in Atlanta on April 23 and, as a result, find themselves up 3-1 in their best-of-seven quarterfinals matchup against the Hawks.
While the series has not yet proved to be all that competitive, things did get a bit chippy in the third period of Game 4 when Trae Young was issued a flagrant foul for pulling down on the arm of a driving Jayson Tatum, who then came crashing down to the hardwood.
The Celtics star furiously shot back up off the ground and headed in the Hawks guard’s direction, though he wound up breezing past him and pleaded to the officiating crew to address the play properly.
Though nothing major came of it, the four-time All-Star seemed enraged by the situation, and, during his postgame media session, he noted that that’s exactly how he wanted to present himself to Young.
“The flagrant foul, I wasn’t mad either,” Tatum said. “I know it looked like I was. I got up real quick. I just wanted to scare him a little bit. But, you know, I know Trae — no harm, playoff foul. I just wanted to get up quick and move on. That’s all it was.”
Tatum finished the night off with 31 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists while shooting 40% from the field and 30.8% from deep.
Marcus Smart Takes Playful Shot at Celtics Star Jaylen Brown
Not everyone portrayed themselves as being all that serious during Sunday’s Game 4, especially not Celtics guard Marcus Smart, who was seen taking playful jabs at teammate Jaylen Brown for taking off his now-famous protective facemask midway through the contest.
“I was actually on the bench and then after the timeout, we were looking for Jaylen, couldn’t find him, because he didn’t have his mask on and then we see him in a corner, and he gets the ball. And then obviously, you know, he makes those plays where he’s driving with force. And that was it; off the glass couple of times and make some great plays. And, and we just knew at that moment, you know, it was a different JB, and, you know, he’s going to carry us and bring us home,” Smart said after the game.
Though he may have looked unrecognizable to Smart, Brown’s play resembled what he’s done all season for the Celtics. He finished with 31 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists while shooting 54.5% from the field and 75% from beyond the arc.