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Nets’ Jared Dudley describes Brad Stevens as ‘one of the best X and O’s’ coach in the game

Brad Stevens, Jared Dudley

Jared Dudley proved during the 2019 postseason that he’s far more than a veteran mentor and future star media personality.

The 12-year veteran was instrumental to the underdog Brooklyn Nets’ relative success against the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the playoffs, playing 20.6 minutes per game and being inserted into the starting lineup for the final two games of the series. Dudley helped space the floor, move the ball, and allowed Brooklyn much more defensive versatility due to his ability to hold up against the likes of both Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.

Still, it’s safe to say that where Jared Dudley made his biggest mark on the Nets was simply with his brashly confident yet mostly-controlled on-court persona. When he speaks, his teammates, and even sometimes the opponent, feel compelled to listen, which is why Boston Celtics fans should be heartened by his assessment of Brad Stevens’ coaching attributes.

Dudley, it bears mentioning, has never played for Stevens, but is as well-connected throughout the league as almost any player in basketball. If he’s confident sharing his opinion on Stevens, it’s safe to say it’s well-informed.

The Celtics’ mild-mannered coach has for the most part avoided scrutiny for his team’s utterly disappointing performance in 2018-19. But with both Kyrie Irving and Al Horford set to leave Boston in free agency, some have begun questioning whether Stevens’ tepid, constantly-measured approach to coaching has something to do with the Celtics’ unraveling.

There’s no way to know for sure. Considering how glowingly both his own players and opposing ones like Dudley speak of Stevens, though, it’s safe to say he’s hardly the source of Boston’s dysfunction.