NBA: Nigerian Coach Guides Celtics To Eastern Conference Finals

By Chigozie Anueyiagu, The Nigerian Voice Sports
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Ime Udoka (Celtic Coach)

Boston Celtics will be aiming to win the finals after eliminating defending champions Milwaukee Bucks. After blowing a 14-point fourth-quarter lead in Game 5 at TD Garden in Boston to fall behind in the series 3–2, it was fair to wonder if the Celtics had thrown their season away. But after winning by 13 in Milwaukee in Friday night’s Game 6, the Celtics returned to the Garden in Sunday’s Game 7 looking to advance to their fourth Eastern Conference Finals in the last six seasons.

And that’s exactly what they did.
The Celtics hit an NBA Game 7 record with 22 three-pointers to take down the defending NBA champion Bucks 109–81, earning a date with the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Jayson Tatum followed up his 45-point game six with another efficient offensive performance. The Celtics star finished with 23 points on 7-for-14 shooting. But when Tatum exited the floor with his fourth foul early in the third quarter, Boston needed someone to step up.

Enter Grant Williams, a 41% three-point shooter in the regular season, who entered the starting lineup in Robert Williams’s absence and had struggled from the floor in this series.

Williams was due for a big night, and he picked a great time to bounce back offensively. Williams finished with 27 points on 10-for-22 shooting and hit a playoff-best seven threes to help the Celtics pull away in the second half. Williams was the best shooter on the floor for most of the final two frames, and was instrumental in sending the Celtics past the defending champion Bucks and into the conference finals.

Giannis Antetokounmpo finished Game 7 with 25 points, 20 rebounds and nine assists, but struggled in the second half from the floor as the Celtics’ defense swarmed the two-time league MVP.

With the Bucks now heading home, there will be a new NBA champion at the conclusion of this playoffs, and after their latest performance, the Celtics remain alive, aiming to bring another championship banner to Boston.

We all know credits are given to coaches majority of the time same as criticism on his end a big welldone should be given to Sunday Imeh Udoka, the Nigerian born American coach who happens to be Celtic gallant manager.

Brief history on Udoka
Udoka was a player on the Nigerian national team . At the 2006 FIBA World Championships , Udoka led Nigeria in scoring, assists, and steals. Udoka also played for Nigeria in the 2005 and 2011 FIBA AfricaChampionships , winning a bronze medal in both tournaments.

Udoka has served as an assistant coach for USA Basketball under his Spurs head coach, Gregg Popovich. Udoka's coaching role on the 2019 FIBA World Cupteam helped him build relationships with Celtics players JaysonTatum , Jaylen Brown , and MarcusSmart , who advocated for his hiring as the new Boston head coach. Udoka also coached for Team USA under Popovich at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, along with Celtics assistant Will Hardy

The Celtics won game seven 109-81 at home and will now face the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals.