Marquee Boston Celtics offseason addition sends strong message on Joe Mazzulla after win No. 100 as head coach

Atlanta Hawks v Boston Celtics
Atlanta Hawks v Boston Celtics / Winslow Townson/GettyImages

Despite being part of only 40 games of Joe Mazzulla's career, Kristaps Porzingis knows that the Boston Celtics head coach is not properly appreciated; even after collecting win No. 100 at the helm of the Cs on February 14 with a 136-86 win over the Brooklyn Nets at the TD Garden.

“I think just seeing how people view him maybe from the outside a little bit, I think he’s very underrated,” Porzingis said (h/t MassLive). “People don’t appreciate who he is and how he coaches because he’s very young, you can always blame it on him and stuff like that. But he’s a very underrated coach. Very underrated and different. And yeah, think people don’t see who he really is and how he coaches and it’s easy to not give him the credit because of the talent we have, no? But he deserves a lot of credit. He does deserve a lot of credit and the rest of the coaching staff also deserves a lot of credit.”

Perhaps the reason why Mazzulla is seen as underrated is because he won't allow himself to be doted on and celebrated.

Joe Mazzulla gives credit for 100 wins to his Boston Celtics roster

Mazzulla has been able to collect 100 wins despite being promoted to interim head coach right before the start of the team's 2022-23 training camp and losing his longest-tenured player and locker room leader Marcus Smart in his first offseason.

In typical Mazzulla fashion, though, he deferred the spotlight to his roster for helping him get to where he is as a former interim who earned the job through nothing but winning.

“I mean, I told the guys, I think it’s something to be proud of, something to be grateful for, and I think it’s a testament to the people you have around you,” Mazzulla said. “I think in a business where individual success is highly talked about on a nightly basis, the box scores and stuff like that, to have a group of people that you can share your success with is important. It really starts with the players and I always tell them, I can’t be who I am if they don’t let me and I appreciate that.

“That’s a gift in coaching, you can always be in a situation where you don’t have empowerment, or you don’t have guys that allow you to be yourself. It’s an important gift that the players give me, and they give it to each other. And I think that’s important for us to continue to grow. So I’m grateful for that.”

As Mazzulla continues to rack up the milestones -- expect win No. 300 to come sometime early on in year four --, the Boston Celtics look more and more like a championship team every day.

Unfortunately, it cannot be lost on anyone that an early exit from any postseason could spell the end of what has been a wildly successful coaching stint.