The Philadelphia 76ers are in the midst of trying to work things out as they prepare for the 2020-21 NBA season. They have a new roster surrounding stars Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid and on top of that, they also have to deal with trade rumors.
The latest one is that the Sixers have talked to the Houston Rockets about sending Simmons to the Houston Rockets for superstar James Harden. Coach Doc Rivers then gave Simmons a call to quiet the rumors down and have him focus on the task at hand and he did a solid job of that.
Simmons had nine points, eight assists, five rebounds, and two blocks while also attempting a 3-pointer in 26 minutes of action. The team won 113-107 in preseason action over the Indiana Pacers and Rivers was happy with what he saw from Simmons.
“I knew he was a good place,” Rivers said. “We had a good talk and so I wasn’t that concerned by that. What I was happy with was the paint, anybody. If you can get to the paint, good things can happen for your team, and then just have to be Ben. Every time we got in the paint something good happened for us. I like that we did that tonight.”
Dwight Howard filled in for an ill Joel Embiid and he teamed up with Simmons for some solid play in the win on Friday and he was happy with the All-Star guard as well. He set Simmons up with some solid screens and the two of them played well in the pick-and-roll.
“I want him to just dominate everybody and I know for him to do that I got to give him some easy shots and some good looks at the basket,” Howard said. “We’ve been going in and setting screens for him that will free up him, but also free up the other shooters.”
Being a veteran, Howard understands that he does not need to demand the ball due to Simmons being such a good distributor. He’s just going to find him easily.
“When Ben’s coming downhill, full speed. nobody can stop him,” Howard added. “I know that’s going to be very, very important for myself when I sub into the game to make sure I get Ben some easy looks first, make sure he’s attacking downhill, making plays for other people which he’s great at, and we have some really great 3-point shooters on our team. I know if I split that screen and I roll hard, Ben is going to find me or he’s going to find the shooters. If nobody’s open, he’s going to have a shot for himself.”
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