Boston Celtics v Philadelphia 76ers

Ben Simmons on Game 2 struggles: 'I was thinking too much, overthinking the plays'


It was a rough night at the office for Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons, scoring just one point and recording seven assists in his team's 108-103 loss to the Boston Celtics.

Boston played him tight for every second of the 30 minutes he was on the floor, with an impressive defensive performance, forcing the Aussie to miss plenty of good looks we've seen him put away this season.

Mentally he didn't seem in the flow of the game and he admitted as much in his post-game press conference.

"I think it was mainly what I did to myself," Simmons said post-game.

"I think mentally I was thinking too much, overthinking the plays and wasn't just out there flowing, playing the way I play, which is free.

"Obviously they had the game plan, I know what that game plan is and I gotta play my game."

During Boston's 20-5 run in the second quarter, Simmons turned the ball over twice and then in the third quarter committed a shot clock violation as the Sixers offense continued to struggle.

Celtics point guard Terry Rozier, who continued his impressive post-season with 20 points and nine assists, was a key part of Boston's gritty perimeter defence alongside Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart.

With Smart logging solid minutes on Simmons, the big men came in and helpd frustrate Simmons, with Al Horford and Marcus Morris both being used to great effect.

"We know he's looking to pass first. He's got a lot of great shooters around him so we try to take the shooters away and make him score the ball," Rozier said postgame.

"Not saying he can't score, but he wants to pass."

The Sixers shot 43 percent from the field and made 13 of their 33 3-pointers, but the Celtics made them work hard for every bucket from the second quarter on. Every shot felt like it was contested.

"I think the way Boston is guarding us in genreral is something that I respect," coach Brett Brown said postgame.

"Like I've said every time either pre or post game.....They are elite at guarding their own men and I think there's a physicality and a switchability that they get apples for apples on many different matchups.

"With Ben I think they did a good job and there's en element of physicality they apply to all of us and tonight Ben struggled as we see, but I give Boston's defense a lot of respect."

With the series heading back to Philly, coach Brett Brown and his troops have their work cut out for them.

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