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Kidd calls Brown the Celtics' 'best player'

Maddie Meyer / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Dallas Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd declared Jaylen Brown the Boston Celtics' best player after his all-around performance in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

"Jaylen's their best player," Kidd told reporters Saturday, per SB Nation's Noa Dalzell. "Looking at what he does defensively, he picked up Luka (Doncic) full court, he got to the free-throw line, he did everything, and that's what your best player does.

"He plays both sides, defense and offense, at a high rate, and he's been doing that the whole playoffs."

Brown was Boston's leading scorer in its 107-89 win on Thursday night with 22 points, adding six rebounds, two assists, three steals, and three blocks.

Beyond his stats, Brown's defense on Mavericks star Doncic was critical. While Doncic scored 30 points, he needed 26 shots to hit his mark, and his one assist was the Slovenian's lowest mark since 2021.

For his part, Brown didn't appear to feel any specific way about Kidd's comments.

"I don't have no reaction," Brown told reporters, including The Washington Post's Ben Golliver. "It's a team game. I'm trying to focus on that. Everybody has their own opinions."

Jayson Tatum was the Celtics' top scorer in the regular season and the postseason, and while both players received All-Star nods during the current campaign, Tatum made All-NBA first team, while Brown was left off all three teams entirely.

Brown was named Eastern Conference finals MVP over Tatum, and Brown said he was surprised he won the award.

In the week leading up to the Finals, Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla was asked about the comparisons between his two star wings.

"It's very unfair that those two get compared. They're two completely different people; they're two completely different players," Mazzulla said, per Josue Pavon of CLNS Media. "They're great teammates, they love each other, they go about winning, and they go about their process in different ways. So why they have to always be lumped together, I think, is unfair."

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