Just days after losing the 2022 NBA Finals, the Boston Celtics are already thinking about next season, and how they can make amends for their failures.
So far, nobody knows what the Cs will do to improve this summer, or if they'll return to the Finals again anytime soon. But head coach Ime Udoka certainly has the right mind about it, and he's going to do whatever he can to ensure a different outcome next year.
“Obviously, losing on a buzzer-beater against Ray Allen when I was in San Antonio will kind of fuel you throughout a whole season,” Udoka said, via Ira Winderman of the South Florida SunSentinel. “But this was a little bit different. We improved in a lot of areas, but fell short of our ultimate goal. Some guys didn’t play their best. That’s going to motivate guys throughout the season. Like I said, the message is everybody come back better. Let’s not be satisfied. It’s not guaranteed you’re going to be here. The East is getting tougher every year. They’ll come back better. We will as a staff, as well.”
There are no guarantees at this level of the game. As good as the Celtics are, next season will give them completely new challenges and opponents to fight and it is anyone's guess how they will respond.
But if Boston fans continue to support their group like they did this year, the team is in pretty good hands moving forward.
"This fanbase gave me a hard time, really hard time. To come here and get a win is awesome. I appreciate this fanbase, they brought incredible energy and brought incredible energy with them, but we did what we do, welcome back to the Warriors' invitational."
As long as the Celtics have Tatum and Brown, they will always be somewhat relevant in the East and you can bet they'll be right in the thick of things next year.
But now, with experience and growth as a team, the Celtics will also be more dangerous than ever before.