Will We See Aggressive Ben Simmons in Game Five?

Ben Simmons in game four
Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Simmons shot 5-10 in game four to finish with 10 points while adding 5 rebounds and 5 assists. He didn’t turn the ball over in the loss.

Normally that would be a good enough line if the other starters are hitting their shots, but Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris were not last night. That’s why Sixer fans were hoping for the pissed off, disrespected, and aggressive Ben that we saw in the Brooklyn series, the player who took the game by the scruff of the neck and just bullied his way to the rim at will.

Jimmy Butler was asked afterward what he and the team can do to help Simmons, and I thought this was an intriguing answer from him:

If you ask Ben, I tell him every time down the floor to attack. Every single time. I’m cool with, if coach calls a play and you feel like you’ve got the mismatch, by all means attack. Coach will be like ‘why did you do it?’ and I promise I will say that I told him to do it. I want him to be aggressive like I told Joel to be aggressive. Attack. We’re not gonna win without you guys. You have to be ready to attack at any point in time. Damn sure in transition. When he has the ball in transition, don’t pass the ball. Attack every single time. That’s how we’re gonna win this game.

It’s all true. And Brett Brown would certainly be fine with any audible that resulted in Ben driving to the rim and attacking a mismatch, especially in transition.

We just haven’t had a ton of that in this series, and of course part of that is because Toronto is simply a better defensive team than Brooklyn. They do a good job of meeting Ben in transition, getting bodies back, and not giving him easy stuff at the rim.

The Sixers only put up 10 fast break points last night and 13 in game three, losing that battle to the Raptors in both games. Brett Brown’s team averaged 15 in the regular season, which was good for 10th in the league. In the playoffs, it’s down to 11.9, which places the Sixers 7th out of the 8 remaining teams. Only Houston is scoring fewer fast break points per game, and they’re a walk-it-up, half court isolation and pick and roll team.

Specifically, these kinds of plays are what Ben normally converts more often than not:

And on a play like this, I thought he might try to take it himself, but he instead dished off to the open man and then cut to the rim to take advantage of Toronto scrambling in defense:

Finally, these plays are rare, but if you botch your pick and roll coverage, Ben is quick enough to get downhill even in a half court offensive situation:

I think we all agree that the Sixers are better when Ben Simmons can establish himself early.

Will we see aggressive Ben in game five?

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9 Responses

    1. I think you are 100% right about Ben Simmons, he ‘s afraid of being considered a failure at either the 3-pointer attempts or the FT line and also timid of teams with a dominant reputation, and that fear is what’s causing him to fail, he only seems to perform well against dominant teams when his anger or bruised pride is under attack, then he mentally goes into hulk -mode.
      He’s too much of a prima donna fighting or being aggressive when his personal pride is on the line, otherwise he’s just a spectator at his team’s game.

      ere’s an idea to light a fire under Simmons, get Kendall Jenner to sit courtside again, it seems to stimulate his pride to win.

  1. Oh boy… this fat, tub of goo Anthony Gargano is on the excuse train and refuses to blame the sickly, alcoholic Embid and the mental midget Benny boy. Better hope Toronto doesn’t start making the wide open shots they’ve missed for the 3rd consecutive game or else they’ll blow the Seventies out by 30-40 points a game.

  2. would be nice if embiid could lay off the fast food for at least the playoffs. maybe take some vitamin c too

    1. When Embiid breaks down completely before he turns thirty, I want to see all this “Process” disciples choked on their excuses.

    2. If the 76ers don’t win 2 out of the next 3 games, the Process will officially be able to be called a huge failure. The whole point of all that losing and having all of those high draft picks (OKAFOR/FULTZ?!?!?!?!?!) was to get to the conf finals MIN and compete for championships, all timed up perfectly with Lebron’s departure from the EC. Gotta trade Simmons to LA this offseason or risk having him leave for nothing next summer. Fat-F-k Embiid who texts his coach the morning of one of the biggest games in the last 20yrs for his employer to say he might not be able to play? Who can’t stop inhaling big macs and sugary drinks? Whose career will most likely be over by 30? Him and Jimmy B are the end result of this Process? Two guys who can’t get you out of the 2nd rd?

  3. The Process was built on four years of tanking. What could go wrong? But guys, Ben is a “generational player”. He’s the best basketball player that doesn’t know how to shoot the basketball, minor quibble, who needs that in basketball anyway? Trust the Process. And dudes, Embiid himself said the obvious “I’m the most unstoppable player in the league”. (yeah, when you’re playing one of the countless shit teams the NBA is full of). Trust the Process. We are playing a team that has exactly ONE great player, and our “best starting five in the league” has come up small again. But I’m not worried – I’m a-just trustin’ the Process!

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