While New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick didn’t come out and say it, it seems he sees a bit of himself in Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens.

Belichick was asked about Stevens by the Boston Sports Journal’s Greg Bedard.

“Coach Stevens is incredible,” Belichick said. “He always points out that the players are the ones who, regardless of the situation, have made this a special team, defying all expectations and adversity game after game after game. But he clearly is a driving force behind it. Coach Stevens is a phenomenal person, leader, teacher and strategist, and the job he does is a model for all coaches.”

Belichick, like Stevens, is always quick to praise players, not himself or other Patriots coaches, for his team’s success.

It would have been easy for Stevens to accept responsibility for the Celtics’ improbable 2018 playoff run, when Boston took the Cleveland Cavaliers to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals despite losing forward Gordon Hayward in the first game of the season and guard Kyrie Irving prior to the postseason.

The Celtics beat the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers in the first two rounds of the NBA playoffs before losing to the Cavs, who will play the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals for the fourth consecutive season.

Stevens heaped praise on Belichick earlier this month, saying the Patriots head coach makes him feel “inadequate” in comparison. Stevens has taken in Patriots training camp practices in the past.

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images