Lost in the Joel Embiid “fucking bullshit” minutes restriction Tuesday drama was the fact that the Philadelphia 76ers are playing a regular season basketball game tomorrow.
Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz will be welcomed to the NBA with a road trip against John Wall, Bradley Beal, and a 49-win Washington team that took Boston to seven games in last year’s conference semifinals.
“I mean, you just start with the head of the snake; you better get back in defense,” said Brown of Wednesday night’s matchup. “You’ve got a roadrunner, you’ve got a gazelle in John Wall. It certainly starts there. It might even stop there. Then you get into Beal. You’re dealing with All-Stars and scorers, and you’re especially dealing with a veteran team that has played in the playoffs and has some continuity. I think (Scott Brooks) does a great job with them, you know, that’s a bunch of men that have played deep in the playoffs or had that playoff-hardening experience. I think those types of things come to my mind.”
Wall and Beal lead the Wizards with 23.1 points per game last season. Wall added 10.7 assists per game, second to only James Harden. His 2.01 steals per game were second only to Draymond Green.
Brown was asked about starting the season against the Wizards’ talented backcourt and whether it would be interesting to see matchups develop involving Ben Simmons playing as a point guard.
“I don’t sort of see it like that,” Brown said. “I think in general you’re right but I don’t link it to Ben Simmons at point guard. It’s a really good team. It’s a hard opening game. We understand the start of our season is difficult. We’re playing against a bunch of playoff teams right from the get go. Opening night doesn’t get more difficult.”
JJ Redick explained the defensive situation regarding Simmons and Fultz in more blunt terms.
“Yea well those guys aren’t guarding John Wall and Bradley Beal, so it’s got nothing to do with them,” the veteran shooter said. “Jerryd and I, Rob, we’ll be on those guys tomorrow. We obviously have a game plan and we’ll try to execute it.”
— Sports Replay (@SportsReplayRT) October 12, 2017
There might be an opportunity tomorrow night to see how Simmons defends a guy like John Wall, but Brett Brown isn’t really looking for that in the season opener.
“That species, that athlete of John Wall and Russell Westbrook, and sort of even Derek Rose, those roadrunners, I don’t like doing that to Ben now. The smaller, more deliberate guards, I think Ben’s size can bother them. I hope to be able to learn more about it over the course of the season but I don’t like a matchup with John Wall and Ben initially. It’s not responsible.”