Joe Mazzulla obtains league honor after leading Celtics to exceptional December

For the third time in his career, Joe Mazzulla has earned the NBA Coach of the Month award, guiding Boston to a 12-2 record in the final month of 2023.
Brooklyn Nets v Boston Celtics
Brooklyn Nets v Boston Celtics / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

The final month of 2023 was something else for the men in green. It marked the most triumphs over a month span for the Boston Celtics since last November.

It only made sense that at least someone in the organization took home some sort of recognition for such a spectacular 31 days for the Celts. Announced by the league on Thursday, Boston Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla has been named the Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for December.

He was the only representative from the organization to earn a monthly award. Derrick White ending up as just a nominee for Eastern Conference Player of the Month despite finishing with the third-best plus/minus in the league for players that appeared in 13 or more contests. Jayson Tatum earned the November Player of the Month in November for the second consecutive campaign.

The 35-year-old joined Ime Udoka and K.C. Jones with two NBA Coach of the Month awards. Doc Rivers leads the franchise with six during his time at the helm in New England. Mazzulla led his team to the second best net rating in the final month of the calendar year, behind only the Philadelphia 76ers. It wasn't like Boston was steaming rolling through the basement dwellers of the association. The Celts ran through a gauntlet of potential playoff teams throughout the final 31 days of 2023.

Eight of the 12 victories came against ball clubs over .500. The most impressive stretch occurred on the West Coach when Boston beat Tyronn Lue's L.A. Clippers and the Sacramento Kings by a combined 62 points. The Celts finished top-10 in rebounds, three-point percentage, and fewest turnovers per game over the course of December.

Joe Mazzulla was named December's Eastern Conference Coach of the Month after coming up just short the month prior

You can see the progression in the second-year coach, having had solid staff behind him and an offseason to prepare for the job. If any fans had any remaining questions about whether or not this was the right guy to lead the ball club to a championship, these last few months should have answered that.

It was the most successful December since the 2017-18 season when the green and white finished with 11 wins under Brad Stevens.