Ben Simmons earns second career playoff triple-double in win over Nets

Ben Simmons played the way he needs to against the Brooklyn Nets on Monday night. He was aggressive and asserted himself in getting to the basket, along with setting up teammates.

Simmons had his second career playoff triple-double during the Philadelphia 76ers’ 145-123 Game 2 win over the Nets. He scored 18 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished 12 assists. With the stat line, Simmons joined Charles Barkley and Wilt Chamberlain as the third Sixers player to have multiple career playoff triple doubles, per StatMuse.

Simmons’ performance in Game 2 was markedly better than his performance in Game 1. In Game 1, Simmons wasn’t aggressive and didn’t look for his shot enough. He scored nine points, dished three assists and shot 44.4 percent from the field.

What Simmons routinely did well in the regular season was use his size in getting to the rim, especially in transition. Since he has the ability to facilitate on the break as well, he puts pressure on defenses.

Going forward, though, Simmons needs to recognize his abilities. Though he’s not a good shooter, he does many other things on the floor well. He’s a good rebounder, and he’s able to score well in the post.

The floor opened more for the Sixers in Game 2 because they shot better compared to Game 1. The floor also opened because Simmons set the tone well with his aggressiveness; but the Sixers also had arguably their best quarter of the season in the third quarter. They scored 51 points, tying the Los Angeles Lakers for the most points in a quarter for a playoff game.

With the Sixers having a dominant win, they should be set up to have a solid game during Game 3 at Brooklyn on Thursday, where they will look to take a 2-1 series lead.

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