Ben Simmons: There’s only one ball and you have to play defense
Ahead of tomorrow night’s matchup against the Brooklyn Nets on ESPN, Ben Simmons joined The Jump today for an interview with Rachel Nichols. Overall the interview was pretty cookie cutter. However, a few things definitely stood out to me. Here’s a quick rundown of the interview.
The Jump: What the stakes are like for the [76ers] this season?
Simmons: It makes us really fight every game. When you’re playing in Philly, we have a great home record.
The Jump: What do you make of the talent in Brooklyn?
Simmons: There’s only one ball and you have to play defense still.
The Jump: Why are the Sixers having success this season?
Simmons: We’re gelling. Having vets like Dwight and Danny, they really believe in this team. It’s a positive for us. And Doc coming is huge. It’s about staying focused. We have to stay locked in.
The Jump: Playoff experiences…
Simmons: That one shot with Kawhi against the Raptors, that was tough. But that was an experience where it made me think “it’s not easy to win, especially when it comes to playoffs.”
The Jump: Reaction to being mentioned during Harden trade talks?
Simmons: They told me I wasn’t going anywhere but it’s a business.
The Jump: How much has Doc Rivers meant to you?
Simmons: It means a lot. We have the pieces to do it and be champions.
The Jump: Reaction on missing All-Star game because of quarantine?
Simmons: It was stressful. It wasn’t good for my mental [health]. I stayed off social media.
The Jump: Should you be the DPOY?
Simmons: Definitely [agree with Doc]. 100%. I do have a lot of respect for Gobert, but I think it’s mine this year. I can cover 1-5 on the court. I scored 42 points against Gobert.
The Jump: Relationship with Joel Embiid this season?
Simmons: They’ve been great. Our relationship continues to grow. The years that we have had, it continues to build.
The Jump: How far can the Sixers go this season?
Simmons: I think we can win it all.
Ben Simmons speaking on the Nets echoes what he said last night after the Dallas Mavericks game. He’s absolutely right. There has been a ton of talk about the Nets offense but at the end of the day, there’s only one ball and the 76ers have an elite defense. I appreciate Simmons’ confidence. Ben Simmons did drop 42 points on the current DPOY front-runner Rudy Gobert. How anyone could choose Gobert over Simmons is beyond me.
Simmons’ comments on the All-Star game and having to enter quarantine was interesting. He said it wasn’t good for his mental health. Post All-Star game, Simmons entered somewhat of a slump but has improved over the last few games. Hopefully it was just a quarantine hangover and he can get back to the level of play we expect from him, a 76ers championship run depends on it.
Mandatory Credit: Rachel Nichols Twitter