Sixers discuss what will be different defensively without Ben Simmons

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The Philadelphia 76ers are going to look a little different on opening night when they take on the New Orleans Pelicans on Oct. 20. They will be missing a certain All-Star point guard who is currently forcing his way out of the organization.

The Sixers are still looking to find a replacement for Ben Simmons and continue to figure out how they are going to look and play without him. The offense will be tricky as young Tyrese Maxey and Shake Milton will have to take on larger roles, but what about on defense?

Simmons was the Defensive Player of the Year runner-up in 2021 and he has been named to the All-Defensive First Team in two consecutive seasons. Therefore, the Sixers will not be able to just look over at the opposing team’s star and just tell Simmons to go guard him.

“It just takes one defender off the floor and that one defender just happened to be second in voting All-Defense and it makes us smaller,” said coach Doc Rivers at practice on Sunday. “What Ben did for us, we can pick 1 through 4, we usually go 5, but 1 through 4 before the game, and we look at who’s the best player of the 1 through 4, and then we would put Ben on him.”

The Sixers still have a lot of capable defenders such as Danny Green, Matisse Thybulle, and even Tobias Harris out on the perimeter, but it will be much tougher to handle everything without Simmons on the floor.

“We will have to do it collectively as a group,” Green added. ” I will say it’s gonna be different with matchups because you can’t just put me or Matisse on somebody when there’s bigger guys out there. We can’t have Seth (Curry) on a bigger guard or Tyrese on a bigger guard or Shake. So we’re gonna have to have those guys match up, step up to the challenge, but it’s not going to be just on them to do that job.”

One thing is for sure though, they don’t just have anybody who can take on a team’s star player and harass him like Simmons did. Thybulle probably could do it in time, but he still has to be able to learn and develop more as a player. The Sixers will have to focus more on team defense and shuttle players towards Joel Embiid.

“We don’t have anyone else that can do that and that was a huge loss for us,” said Rivers. “Now you have to do it more as a team aspect. You may have to trap more. You may have to trap more, you may have to run and jump more without him. That’s a big hole for us.”

The Sixers will continue with their growth as a new team on Monday when they take on the Brooklyn Nets to continue the preseason.

This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

List

7 members of the Sixers named to Top 75 players in NBA history list

Related

Danny Green wants to take Sixers guard Isaiah Joe under his wing

Doc Rivers hints that Jaden Springer will begin season in G League

Doc Rivers believes Sixers rookie Charles Bassey can be NBA player