Sixers’ Doc Rivers: Ben Simmons’ defense vs. Celtics was ‘unbelievable’

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Ky Carlin
·2 min read
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Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons did not have the best offensive night on Wednesday, but he played his usual stellar defense in helping the team beat the Boston Celtics 117-109 at home.

Simmons was faced with some tough challenges on Wednesday having to defend Kemba Walker as well as Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart who are all players who can put the ball in the basket. He was forced to switch out on to each one of them and try to make it as tough as he can.

When a player has to defend three really talented scorers like those three can be, it can make for a long night. Those guys got their points, but they made a lot of tough shots.

“I thought Ben was unbelievable defensively,” said coach Doc Rivers. “First of all, we put him on Kemba tonight, we put him on Jaylen Brown tonight, put him on Marcus Smart tonight. It’s amazing what he can do for us and tonight was a great example of that.”

On top of that, Simmons made big plays down the stretch of this one despite having five fouls with 4:28 left in the fourth. He had to stay in front of those players and he had to do so while trying to avoid fouling out. That really is no easy feat to do in this league.

“It was huge,” Rivers added. “It was a tough call like when to put them back in. Usually, that’s not a hard call but when you’re putting them on Jaylen Brown and Kemba, it’s very difficult to not pick up a foul and stay aggressive and he was able to do that.”

Simmons has been having a tough start to the season offensively, but the important part is, he has been terrific on the defensive end of the floor as usual and that will continue to make him an effective player. Once he gets back into his offensive groove, he will be able to mesh it all together.

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