It's not the beef many saw coming, but here we are.
Prior to Game 3, veteran Jared Dudley described the Brooklyn Nets' strategy for slowing down Ben Simmons, saying the All-Star point guard is "a great player in transition" but "average" in the halfcourt setting.
Simmons brushed off the comments pre-game, saying, "It's coming from Jared Dudley, c'mon" and he let his game do the talking with a playoff career-high 31 points to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a 131-115 win over the Nets to take a 2-1 series lead.
"I don't really have the energy for it."- SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 19, 2019
Ben Simmons on the trash talk from Jared Dudley before Game 3. pic.twitter.com/mFJEH5WTXL
When asked about the back-and-forth in his post-game press conference - in particular Simmons' reaction to Dudley's airballed 3-pointer - the Aussie poured cold water on the situation, telling reporters, "I don't really have energy for it. It's done. People are gonna say what they wanna say."
Simmons' reaction after Dudley's airball 🤭 pic.twitter.com/lCXaZKrw4V- Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 19, 2019
Dudley responded to the noise caused by his comments following the Game 3 loss, explaining his answer to a question wasn't really meant as trash talk.
"It was really not supposed to be a back-and-forth," the 33-year-old said, via YES Network. "It was basically just answering a question. I mean, obviously, media has a job to do, and that's understandable, but for us, we gotta find a way to get wins. If it's Ben scoring 40 ... we just can't have four or five guys kill us."
Dudley complained to the refs. Ben Simmons just smirked. pic.twitter.com/DIe19hEtoI- Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 19, 2019
Game 4 takes place on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time.