J.J. Redick warns playoff-Ben Simmons has arrived
The NBA playoffs have barely started, yet Ben Simmons has wasted no time making a name for himself in his first postseason game as a rookie, leading a Joel Embiid-less Philadelphia 76ers to a 130-103 rout over the Miami Heat.
What was thought to be a gritty playoff series was instead turned into a breeze for Simmons and the Sixers, who took Miami’s best punch in the first quarter, trailing by six, yet never looked back after that.
Shooting guard J.J. Redick noticed another side of Simmons came out to start this playoff run, a different intensity unlike what he’s seen this entire season with the team.
“I loved his demeanor before the game,” said Redick, according to Sheil Kapadia of The Athletic. “Ben is, I don’t want to say he’s quiet. I don’t want to say he’s soft-spoken. But when he speaks, it means something.”
“I’ve never seen him so demonstrative with me specifically before a game. There were three separate times where he was really pushing me and urging me. It was just awesome to see. I expected him to rise to the moment, and I’ll expect him to do that in Game 2. But he was awesome tonight. I love when he shows emotion too. It’s great to see. But he’s just got a quiet cockiness about his game that I love.”
Simmons was far from the leading scorer with his 17 points, but his game-high 14 assists and nine rebounds provided the spark needed to make it rain like they did in a blistering 18-of-28 from beyond the arc.
The rookie out of LSU is yet to attempt more than one shot from deep this season, yet he’s facilitated more than a few hundred throughout this season, coming together in a confidence-builder of a Game 1 to tip-off this postseason.