REPORT:Celtics’ Jayson Tatum Fight vs Ime Udoka..

Houston Rockets head coach Ime Udoka was only with the Boston Celtics for one season, but he made a lasting impact on his players.

Celtics star Jayson Tatum became particularly close with the 46-year-old coach, as Udoka pushed him and helped him make his first All-NBA team in 2022. Tatum and Udoka will have a reunion of sorts on Saturday night, as the C’s are set to host the Rockets at TD Garden.

Udoka hasn’t faced his former squad since he was dismissed as the Celtics head coach due to his improper relationship with a female staff member. This’ll be the first meeting between the Celtics and Rockets this season and Tatum admitted that it could be a bit bizarre, per NBC Sports Boston reporter Chris Forsberg.

“Playing against him is going to be a little weird,” he said. “It’s going to be the first head coach that I’ve had to play against that I had. So it’s going to be different.”Despite Udoka’s short stint in Beantown, he led the Celtics to the NBA Finals for the first time in over a decade. Although Boston fell short and lost to the Golden State Warriors in six games, the future was bright.

Adjusting to Udoka’s suspension in September of 2022 (and eventual exit) was tough for the Celtics, yet current head coach Joe Mazzulla steadied the ship. Mazzulla has the C’s looking like a contender once more this season, as they’re 29-9 overall and in first place in the Eastern Conference. As for the Rockets, Udoka seems to be slowly turning things around thus far.

They’re still 19-18 and in 9th place in the Western Conference, but that’s a far cry from the 2022-23 season when the Rockets went a brutal 22-60. The growth of center Alperen Şengün and the addition of 2019 NBA champion Fred VanVleet have also helped the Rockets improve.

Coaching history aside, the Celtics are hoping to bounce back from their blowout loss on Thursday night to the Milwaukee Bucks by handling business at home. The C’s are a perfect 18-0 at TD Garden and will try to use that built-in advantage against the Rockets.

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