- How impressed should with be with Philly's All-Star point guard? Andrew Sharp and Ben Golliver breakdown Ben Simmons' postseason performance on the Open Floor Podcast.
After an essential no-show in Game 1 of the Sixers' and Nets' opening round playoff matchup, Philly's All-Star point guard Ben Simmons reversed course in Game 2 and was nothing short of dominant during Game 3 in Brooklyn. Andrew Sharp and The Washington Post's Ben Golliver took to the Open Floor podcast to break down the two sides of Simmons' postseason performance, especially when Joel Embiid has been sidelined. As Embiid's status remains fluid, despite the big man's appearance in Game 4, Simmons' brilliance will continue to be much needed.
(Listen to the latest Open Floor podcast here. The following transcript has been edited and condensed for clarity.)
SHARP: I'm happy for Simmons. I'm happy for you. Big night for the Ben's of the world. I could nit pick some of what he did as far as who he is, who he's doing it to, whether it's Treveon Graham or DeMarre Carroll or Jared Dudley. But I honestly think that's kind of missing the point. The key for Simmons is effort and intensity and the way he's used and I think effort and intensity have been kind of off the charts for him in Game 2 and game three. He was attacking offensively from the very beginning. He is getting a rim and and the part of what's valuable about him getting to the rim is that when he does that his passing becomes more than just kick outs for three, like he's finding guys for wide open layups. And I think that's a big difference for Philly. And then on defense, he's been just as valuable just sort of switching everything harassing D'Angelo Russell. He's just been everywhere and that's who he can be on that end and that's not who he has been for a long stretches of this season. But he deserves a lot of credit for taking all kinds of heat and coming back with two of the best games probably of his NBA career yet.
GOLLIVER: I don't want to, you know, bend over backwards giving him that much credit. I mean, it is the Nets. I think your point about who he was going against is dead on. I mean, they're not good. I keep saying that. And so I would say, you know, it was good for him. But like, you know, big picture it wasn't that impressive. I thought my bigger takeaway was a little bit different. You saw the power of what he looks like when there is not a 7'3" guy with tendinitis in his way all the time.
GOLLIVER: And I think it goes back to the point that I was making earlier about how great is this pairing between the two of them? Are you ever going to be able to get that version of Ben Simmons night in and night out if Joel Embiid is on the court? Do they really complement each other, or do they start to get in each other's way a little bit? I think it's a completely fair question.