Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens is frequently on the same page with shooting guard Marcus Smart.
Stevens repeatedly praised Smart for his selfless demeanor and tireless work ethic, especially on the defensive side of the ball. He even lobbied for him to win the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year Award.
In October, Smart described his position with the Celtics as a “stretch 6.” Although he may have been referring to himself as the team’s sixth man, Stevens thinks Smart was referring to his ability to come in and wreak havoc on the defensive side of the floor:
Brad Stevens on Marcus Smart's defense: "I think he's referred to himself correctly as a stretch-six."
— Brian Robb (@BrianTRobb) November 27, 2019
Smart is notorious for his relentless ball pressure. Despite lacking in the height department for a combo guard (6-foot-3), Smart guards multiple positions and can be used as a “stopper” on the opposing team’s best player — a role he thrived in against the likes of Buddy Hield and Stephen Curry last season.
The former Oklahoma State standout is having another superb defensive season and is once again garnering some attention for Defensive Player of the Year. In fact, he reiterated his case for the award ahead of Boston’s clash with the Denver Nuggets on Friday.
“I mean, think about it. How many guards are doing what I’m doing guarding 1 through 5? How many bigs are guarding 1s the way I’m guarding 5s? Like I said, I’m on another level right now and I think my play speaks for itself,” Smart said, via Justin Leger of NBC Sports Boston.
From diving loose balls to switching onto much bigger opponents, Smart can do it all. Stevens agrees, which might make the “stretch 6” a new term in the NBA lexicon.