Ben Simmons’ Game 2 performance against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals was one of the worst of his young career and wasn’t common to see. Not only did Philadelphia blow a 22-point lead to the shorthanded Celtics, but Simmons finished with just one point in 31 minutes of play in the 108-103 loss.
Simmons was held to finishing without a single field goal made, as defensive-specialist Marcus Smart put the clamps on the rookie all game long. The former No. 1 overall pick did make an impact, though. Simmons recorded seven assists, five rebounds, and one block. Simmons was the first to criticize his performance, calling it the “worst game” of his career as Philadelphia slipped down 2-0 in the series.
— Marc Narducci (@sjnard) May 4, 2018
According to Marc Narducci of the Philadelphia Inquirer, former Sixers legend Allen Iverson called the rookie to give him sound advice.
“I heard he wanted to talk to me so I got on the phone with him and he gave me words of encouragement,” Simmons said. He said [to] play the game I know how to play. That is just second nature to me.”
Simmons’ one-point performance was extremely rare. The frontrunner for 2017-18 Rookie of the Year averaged 15.8 points, 8.2 assists, 8.1 rebounds, and 1.7 steals per game and led Philadelphia to a 52-30 record, good for 3rd in the Eastern Conference. His skills, maturity, and stats already prove he is bound for success in the NBA.
All players have had bad games, it has to happen eventually. Iverson’s words gave the rookie a confidence boost for sure.
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