Deveney: Simmons Is The Guy Celtics Are Most Concerned About
The Second Round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs have presented a unique set of challenges for the Sixers Rookie Point Guard Ben Simmons with the Celtics defense limiting his effectiveness on offense. During this series, Simmons is playing below the level of play he performed at in the regular season. Boston's defense is limiting Simmons to fewer Points Per Game (13.5 versus 15.8), Assists Per Game (6.5 versus 8.1) and lower Field Goal Shooting Percentage (45.5% versus 54.5%). Simmons' best game this series came in Game Four when he played along side another ball handler as TJ McConnell had the type of dynamic game to allow Simmons to get more space on offense.
The Sporting News NBA Writer Sean Deveney joined The Sports Bash on Wednesday discussing the Celtics defensive game plan heading into Game Five:
“I don’t know that (the Celtics will) change up their defense that much, they still see Simmons as sort of the key, that if you can have Aron Baynes do the best he can with Joel Embiid and sort of live with that and then focus the rest of the defense around slowing down Simmons and keeping (the Sixers) out of transition. I think that is still going to be the thrust of their defense – You have to live with what McConnell is going to do and certainly I would expect to see some wrinkles, maybe some different rotations in terms of how they defend TJ McConnell. But I still expect to (the Celtics) to have Simmons as the guy they are most concerned about on that defense.”
Hear Deveney's expectations for Celtics-Sixers Game Five along with his perspective on Brad Stevens, Brett Brown, and the 2018 NBA Playoffs