Simmons Shines as Sixers Handle Wizards Easily in Game 2
Ben Simmons made aggressive scoring a clear priority during the Philadelphia 76ers 120-95 victory over the Washington Wizards in game two of their first round series. Especially in the game’s opening quarter, Simmons relentlessly attacked the paint, skillfully finishing with both hands and routinely taking advantage of mismatches with smaller defenders.
As a result, he was the Sixers leading scorer (tied with Embiid) with an efficient 22 points on 11-15 shooting from the field. Of course, scoring is just the final piece of the jigsaw puzzle that is Ben Simmons’ game. He also added 9 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals, and a block. This was all accomplished in 29 minutes as the entirety of the Sixers starting lineup rested during the fourth quarter with the game far out of Washington’s grasp.
Simmons also clapped back at his critics who were quick to point to his meager six points during Philadelphia’s game one victory. As Simmons explained, “I thought it was pretty hard to get 15 assists and 15 rebounds in the NBA in the playoffs. I thought it was pretty impressive. And we won. What y’all want?” His coach, Doc Rivers, also came to his defense citing that Ben did exactly what was needed of him for the team to win.
Even so, it was mighty encouraging to see Ben Simmons in attack-mode playing with a noticeable fire on the floor. Ben’s aggression helped put the Sixers ahead by 14 at halftime and they didn’t look back from there. Tobias Harris and Joel Embiid also had incredibly efficient performances with the former shooting 9-13 with 19 points and 9 rebounds and the latter shooting 8-12 with 22 points and 7 rebounds.
While the Wizards had very little chance in this series at the outset, that task is now made even more difficult with an injury to the right ankle of Russell Westbrook. Adding insult to injury, an obnoxious fan dumped popcorn on the Washington star as he was exiting the contest. Westbrook had to be held back by security and subsequently the fan was rightfully ejected.
Hopefully no further antics will color a series that has gone completely Philadelphia’s way so far. Bradley Beal will inevitably score in droves (he poured in 33 in game 2), but the Wizards have little firepower beyond him. Philly fans continue to hold their broomsticks at the ready as they prepare for game 3 which takes place Saturday, May 29th.