Boston Celtics’ coach Udoka on Josh Richardson’s veteran role

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Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka talked up veteran guard Josh Richardson’s impact this season at his shootaround press conference Friday. Richardson has been a bench player this season in Boston, not a role he’d previously been accustomed to since breaking into the league his rookie year with the Miami Heat in 2015-16.

Richardson had come off the bench just five times in his previous four seasons before coming to Boston. This season, he has yet to start in one of his 37 games played while guards Dennis Schroder and Marcus Smart have shared a bulk of the starting minutes. Despite this change, Udoka said Richardson has been embracing this role and has been an important veteran voice in the process.

“Other than Dallas in the playoffs, that was really his first time coming off the bench in his career, something he’s embraced, he was pressed more into that with Dennis being in starting lineup at times with all the guys being in out with COVID and injury,” Udoka said. “He has been one of our most solid veteran guys out there and we got some younger wings behind him, but he’s been really good overall.”

The Celtics have a mix of young players and older vets, but are largely a young team at this point. Richardson brings some experience to position group with five players 25 years old and younger — Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Aaron Nesmith, Payton Pritchard and Romeo Langford.

I think he takes more onus on with this group than probably in previous stops where he’s had some older guys with him,” Udoka stated.He’s one of the veterans here and he’s taking on that role very well.”

Richardson is averaging 9.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game while shooting over 40% from three off the bench this season.

This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook!

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