Kerr explains why Smart is “the guard version” of Draymond

Steve Kerr and the Warriors understand why Marcus Smart was named the 2021-22 NBA Defensive Player of the Year.

Three days before Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Warriors and Boston Celtics, Kerr explained what makes Smart an elite defenseman, and even had a unique comparison to one of his own players. .

“His strength and his anticipation, he’s got an incredible feel for the game at that end,” Kerr told reporters on Monday. “He’s like the guard version of Draymond [Green]. He reads the angles, he keeps the five positions, if he goes to a man at five, he is so strong he can hold them. He’s fast enough to chase playmakers, big enough to keep wings so he can literally keep 1-5 in the modern game. He lives up to his name, a very smart and really versatile player and a great, great defender.

Smart became the first guard to win the prestigious honor since Gary Payton in 1996.

The 6-foot-4 Celtics guard with a 7-foot-1 mentality finished the season in the top 10 interceptions and led Boston’s No. 1-ranked defense.

Much like Green, Smart’s intensity and fearlessness are felt the moment he steps on the floor. And when he’s not playing, it definitely shows.

Smart and the Celtics have made it very difficult for even the best teams this season and in the playoffs. They swept Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, knocked out reigning Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks in seven games, then bounced back to win another seven-game series against the Miami Heat.

One of the most frequently stated axioms in sports is that “defense wins championships”.

RELATED: Breaking Down Warriors-Celtics Regular Season Matchups

Boston is yet to win the title, but Smart’s defensive IQ has undoubtedly helped get the Celtics to where they are.

They now face a whole new monster in the Warriors, but Smart is likely up for the challenge.

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