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#pounditFriday, September 30, 2022

Steve Kerr has high praise for 1 Celtics player

Steve Kerr looks on from the sideline

Jan 18, 2020; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr stands on the sideline during the fourth quarter against the Orlando Magic at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart reminds Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr of one of his own players.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday ahead of the NBA Finals, Kerr said that Smart’s tenacity on defense was similar to that of Draymond Green.

“I kind of described Marcus yesterday as the guard version of Draymond,” Kerr said. “He’s just all over the place defensively. There’s a reason he won Defensive Player of the Year. He’s a great defender and probably an underrated offensive player as well.”

Kerr wasn’t the only person to heap praise onto Smart ahead of the NBA Finals.

Smart’s defensive prowess was on full display during the regular season. He finished the season with the seventh-most steals per game in the NBA (1.68), and was tied for sixth in total steals (119) as well.

While Smart is known more for his defense, he’s been productive on the opposite end of the court as well during the playoffs.

In 15 games, the 28-year-old has averaged 15.5 points and is shooting just under 40 percent from the field. Smart scored 24 points in Boston’s Game 7 win over the Miami Heat in the Western Conference Finals.

While Smart will play a key role in Boston’s success this series, he may have unintentionally provided some extra motivation for a Warriors team looking to win their fourth title in the last eight years.

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