);
Playoffs 2019

NBA Playoffs 2019: Brett Brown defends and praises 'excellent' Ben Simmons

#Simmons

Through the opening five games of the second round series, Ben Simmons had struggled to make an impact on the games.

MORE: Recap from the 76ers' dominant Game 6 win

From the opening tip it was clear this was a different Simmons that had been seen and the Toronto Raptors were the ones who struggled.

Simmons took control of the game from the outset and his aggressive mindset helped lead the team to a big Game 6 victory and force the all-important Game 7.

Ending the game with more points than he had in the past two games combined and pulled down more rebounds then he had in any game this series.

His display saw Sixers coach Brett Brown shower him in praise while also defending the rising Australian star.

"I thought he was excellent and we needed it all," Brown said.

"He's 22 years old. His game, as he grows his shot and tries to get a better command of his position, and deals with the stage of the NBA Playoffs, shame on us for thinking he's gonna be like all day, every day, here he is and he's gonna go knock it out of the park.

"It's just not fair. What he did today was lots of the reasons he was an NBA All-Star at age 22, as an NBA point guard with the ball."

Raptors coach Nick Nurse saw a big change in his play and alluded to several plays where Simmons deflated the Raptors with tip backs.

"I think our poor shooting got him out in the open a lot. I think he was certainly aggressive. Give him credit," Nurse said.

"I thought he made a lot more straight line, non-hesistant moves tonight. When he decided to go, he decided to go and he wasn't thinking about passing. He was taking to the rim and we weren't providing enough help down there.

"We had a couple of good defensive possessions and then his big arms and hands came up and tipped them in.

"They are tough when you've had a good defensive possession and they are still getting a good precentage tip in. He was really good tonight. He is a really good player."

More from NBA.com

Zion Williamson on NBA debut
Sights and Sounds from Zion's NBA debut
Yash Matange
Zion Williamson reacts after making a 3-pointer in his debut.
A tale of two Zions and five burning questions
Micah Adams
ben-zion-lebron-012220-nbae-gettyimages
Recap Thursday's action
NBA.com Staff
Zion Williamson on NBA debut
How does Zion's debut compare to Jordan and LBJ
Yash Matange
#LeBron
Relive a huge night of dunks around the NBA
Kane Pitman
fred-vanvleet-012220-ftr-nbae-gettyimages
Nine thoughts: VanVleet powers Raps to fifth-straight win
Gilbert McGregor
More News