The Playoffs – All squared up 3/3. Ben Simmonds finds his mojo

It looked like it was ‘all over red rover’ for the Philadelphia 76s in game 6 against the Toronto Raptors – Toronto was up 3 games to 2. Ben Simmonds, the Aussie reigning rookie of the year was in the doghouse – then this!

Philadelphia 76s 112, Toronto Raptors 101.

Now the playoff is squared at 3/3.

All five 76ers starters scored in double figures, including Jimmy Butler (25 points, eight assists, six rebounds and two steals), Ben Simmons (21 points, eight rebounds and six assists), Joel Embiid (17 points, 12 rebounds, two blocks and a plus-minus of plus-40) and Tobias Harris (16 points, nine rebounds and five assists).

Ben Simmons answers the call as desperate Sixers defeat Raptors to force Game 7

eb3d46224bc5d670cb49040e27a834c2.jpg

A Ben Simmons who plays downhill is one who makes the Philadelphia 76ers a contender.

Entering Game 6, there were questions, and rightfully so. How can the reigning Rookie of the Year make an impact against a team that was so expertly scheming him out of the game?

His answer began with an authoritative start, controlling the pace of the game, en route to 21 points, eight rebounds, and six assists; the Australian leading his 76ers to a 112-101 win against the Toronto Raptors.

730041_640x360_large_20190510113237

“I think it was making a point of actually doing it, and not talking about it,” Simmons said of his aggressive start. “Obviously I’m pretty quick, so I’m able to push the ball, just being aggressive downhill and playing my game.

It’s moreso, for me, just going out there and doing everything I can to win. The end result’s gonna be the end’s result. Everyone had that same mentality. I think it was just going out there and playing hard, and not regretting anything.”

With the win, the 76ers kept their postseason alive by tying the Eastern Conference semi-finals series at 3-3, forcing a decisive Game 7 is set for a tip-off on Monday (AEST) in Toronto.

Entering Friday’s game, Simmons had yet to make his mark in the second round of these NBA Playoffs. The 22-year-old was averaging just 9.4 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 4.6 assists a game, while being tasked with defending Kawhi Leonard, who’s convincingly making his case as a top-3 player in the world.

Instead of folding, Simmons answered the call. He was aggressive from the tip, playing like the point guard of a team with their backs on the wall. By the end of the first quarter, he had eight points and five assists, having asserted himself in a way we hadn’t seen all series.

a8ccecdd07ad6ea977b2c1d64094a4a5.jpg

“He was our bell ringer tonight,” 76ers head coach, Brett Brown, said of Simmons.

“His no-turnovers, his attack mode, his four offensive rebounds. His push in pace on miss shots especially. All those things were what made him be an NBA All-Star at 22 years old. I thought he was excellent tonight, and we needed it all.”

By the half, the 76ers were up 58-43, and that lead extended even more by the end of the third.

Of course, it wasn’t just Simmons. Jimmy Butler played a significant role in the first half, ultimately finishing with 25 points and eight assists, while Joel Embiid’s relatively poor shooting night — 5-of-14 from the field — was irrelevant because of his dominant defensive performance; the centre finishing with an impressive +40.

Once again, it was Leonard who led the way for the Raptors — posting 29 points and 12 rebounds in his team’s loss — but the 76ers’ stifling defence made it difficult for his teammates to get going.

966804f59b01f713d88b1bc1d1adc77b

After the game Raptors head coach Nick Nurse praised Simmons for breaking out of his recent slump, and making an impact on both ends of the floor.

“I think our poor shooting got him out in the open a lot. I think he was certainly aggressive,” Nurse said.

“Give him credit. I thought he made a lot more straight line, non-hesitant moves tonight. When he decided to go, he decided to go and he wasn’t thinking about passing. He was taking to the rim and we weren’t providing enough helps down there. And he hurt us on the glass early. We had a couple of good defensive possessions and then his big arms and hands came up and tipped them in.”

Simmons credited his teammates for his ability to play downhill: “Spacing,” he said. “Guys being in their spots, where they need to be, also allowed me to do that. Just me having that mindset of getting downhill, making plays.”

The series has gone back and forth, to the point where it’s tough to point to who’ll end up booking a spot in the conference finals. Both teams have shown the ability to dominate the other; it seems to just come down to what iteration of each roster shows up on any given night.

Source: foxsports.com.au

For premium Timber Sports Flooring construction and maintenance, call Nellakir on 03 9467 6126 or leave your details here for a prompt reply.

Nellakir – The Sports Flooring of Champions.

Advertisements

Aussie Rookie of the Year Takes NBA by Storm.

Ben Simmons is on fire this year in the NBA. As reigning Rookie of the Year he’s averaging 16.5 points, 9.1 rebounds and 8.1 assists per game. An Australian, Ben is the third non-American to win the award.

5f25991d3ea02f10c905873715d0c87f.jpg

Simmons hopes Australian fans can help him get over the line.

The Melbourne-born superstar said he is proud to represent Australia on the international stage every time he plays.

“Support from Australia means everything because just being Australian, every time I put on a jersey, I know I’m not only representing my family, but Australia at the same time,” Simmons told news.com.au.

“I also want to be the first Australian to be in the All-Star game, I think that would just be huge for Australian basketball. Not only for me but for little kids looking up to me. I think that would just be an amazing accomplishment.”

Simmons has been ramping up his performances over the past month.

In his last 10 games, he averages 18.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 8.8 assists.

But having just moved over the halfway mark of the season, Simmons is on track to break two lofty marks he set in 2017/18.

He hit 38 double-doubles last year and 12 triple-doubles. This year he already has 27 double-doubles and seven triple-doubles.

91c8cb552325265d5657715886aaa9fe.jpg

Ben Simmons is on track to smash his double-double and triple-double records.

But his current form has seen him register five triple-doubles in his last 13 matches and 76ers coach Brett Brown said he is deserving of the lofty accolade.

“I think he’s on a mission to win games and be an All-Star,” the Philadelphia 76ers head coach said on Wednesday. “And I will do everything I can to help him.”

For Simmons, an All-Star berth would be humbling.

“I think being selected as an All-Star is a great accomplishment. Being an All-Star, you’re looked at as being one of the best players in the league,” he said.

“Being in the NBA is already a great accomplishment for a lot of guys and I want to get to that next level. I believe what I’ve been doing as of late has shown that I’m up there with those guys.”

Simmons, a Kayo Sports ambassador, is stuck in a dogfight for an All-Star spot, sitting fourth in guard voting in the Eastern Conference behind Kyrie Irving (2.3m votes), Dwyane Wade (1.1m votes) and Kemba Walker (858,798 votes).

Simmons is sitting on 695,032 votes, according to the second round of fan vote returns released by the NBA on Thursday, almost 130,000 votes ahead of the fifth placed Victor Oladipo.

The fan votes will account for 50 per cent of the vote with player selection and media selection accounting for a further 25 per cent each with those voters completing one full ballot featuring two guards and three frontcourt players from each conference.

The two guards and three frontcourt players with the best score in each conference will be named NBA All-Star Game starters.

The two team captains will be the two players with the highest accumulation of votes and after the vote will draft rosters from the pool of players voted as starters and reserves in each conference, making their picks regardless of conference affiliation.

With the 76ers currently 27-16 for the season and sitting in fourth in the Eastern Conference, Simmons said his side are starting to hit their straps.

c29f0cfb58794a51be1d8627e19188bb.jpg

Ben Simmons has been in incredible form.

On a personal note, he’s hoping to take his game to the next level.

“Personally I think I’ve got a lot of growing to do in terms of defence and offence but I can see the growth starting to happen slowly over time,” he said.

“I’m putting the work in to get to where I want to be and I think the sky’s the limit as long as I have the mentality to go out every night and try to get better and get wins for my team.

“(The 76ers) have some things locked down where we look great but we have a lot of growing to do at the same time.

“We have a lot of young guys on the team and it’s going to take a lot to get to the next level but I believe in what we have and the coaching staff we have that we can get there but it really depends on how hard we push each other.”

Source: news.com.au

The next generation of Australian NBA and International Stars are now honing their game playing on FIFA approved Sprung Timber Sports Flooring – in particular here in Victoria where Juniors playing at a School level get to use premium quality facilities. Nellakir, Victoria’s leading supplier and installer of Timber Sports Flooring in Victoria and Tasmania are pleased to be contributing towards a brighter future for the sport here.

For expert construction and programmed maintenance call now on 9467 6126 for a free no obligation quote.

Nellakir – The Sports Flooring for Champions.

 

profile-pic2

Nellakir helps young athletes reach their goals by providing the highest quality Sprung Timber Sports Floor playing surfaces.