The 76ers ranked ninth in the NBA this season in transition offense and that’s why Nets forward Jared Dudley wants to get them out of it.
A big reason for that is how Dudley says Ben Simmons plays when he’s on the run.
“He’s a player that when he picks up speed he’s a load so you have to have two guys with him,” Dudley told the Philadelphia Daily News on Wednesday.
Jared Dudley on Ben Simmons: “I think Ben Simmons is a great player in transition. Once you slow him up in the half court I thin he’s average. He’s a player that when he picks up speed he’s a load so you have to have two guys with him. It’s taking away his easy baskets.”
— Sarah Todd (@NBASarah) April 17, 2019
When asked to respond to Dudley’s scouting report, Simmons simply blew it off.
#Sixers PG @BenSimmons25 responds to Jared Dudley’s comment about the #NBAAllStar being “average” in half court. pic.twitter.com/0BQTtHOnUL
— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) April 18, 2019
In Philadelphia’s 145-123 Game 2 win over the Nets, the 76ers tallied 12 fast-break points and another nine off of turnovers.
In addition to that, the team was getting a lot of buckets close to the basket as they tallied 62 points in the paint along with another 26 from the free-throw line.
Simmons tallied a triple-double in the game with 18 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.
But in Game 1 it was a different story.
Philadelphia lost 111-102 and managed just four fast-break points and another 14 off turnovers. It still made a lot of free throws, but the team never quite got going in the game and fell to Brooklyn as a result.
A lot of that could be chalked up to the lack of transition points, but it could also point to Ben Simmons having a so-so game. He finished with nine points and just three assists in the loss.
He never really got the team out and running and it cost them. And that’s what Dudley wants to do constantly against Simmons: keep the young guard in front of him.
“I think Ben Simmons is a great player in transition,” Dudley said. “(But) once you slow him up in the half court I think he’s average.”
Simmons is a huge guard standing at 6-10 and weighing in around 230 pounds. Once he gets moving he is clearly hard to stop, that much has been evident throughout the year.
Dudley is simply pointing out an obvious fact about Simmons, but now we’ll see if the third-year guard tries to make a point in Game 3 on Thursday and tries to dominate in the half-court.
Or, he could simply try to get out in transition more to take advantage of something Dudley and the Nets probably don’t want to see and that’s a huge, athletic man in Simmons on the run toward the bucket.