Doc Rivers reveals surprises with Ben Simmons, play without Joel Embiid
When a coach takes on a new job, they have an idea of what their squad can do. Obviously, a basketball coach will watch much of the basketball team that he will be taking over.
However, there are always a few different surprises that can still crop up.
For Doc Rivers, the Philadelphia 76ers coach, he already had an idea of what he had in Ben Simmons. He inherits a man who is one of the top players in the league and can do so many different things on the basketball court, but now that he sees him up close, Rivers can see how fast he is out on the ground.
"I'd say I knew it had speed, but I didn't know it had afterburners," laughed Rivers. "I think when he increases his pace it's incredible how fast he is. I think the biggest surprise is that I knew he was a good defender on the ball. I didn't know that his instincts were outside of the box Balls he has and that's a very good surprise. "
The intent is to use that speed to find out why Rivers wants Philadelphia to play a faster, faster offense while Simmons plays more downhill on this new offense. The Sixers went out and acquired marksmen like Seth Curry and Danny Green to make it easier for him to play faster and downhill in a cleaner, more open space.
Then the question arises whether he can do the same with Joel Embiid on the floor. As has been seen in the past, the Sixers can take this faster offensive if Embiid goes down, and they can focus more on Simmon's strengths, speeding up the pace, and developing games for others.
"It's like human nature," Rivers said when Simmons played without Embiid. “One of your celebrities is out there, the other one thinks they need to do more, and they are probably doing more. That's probably natural. "
What Rivers wants is for Simmons to keep accelerating the pace, even with the big guy lying on the floor with him.
"I want it to go downhill no matter who is on the ground and every night," he added. "There are many times Joel gets the rebound and passes it on to Ben. Ben shouldn't wait. If Ben can make it downhill, we want him to go downhill. Going downhill doesn't necessarily mean 'shoot the ball', but “create a game.” I thought the only thing that stood out in the Indiana game was the number of times we got the ball in the paint and the shot was a three, and that's what we mean Designate color point, but that's it. "
The season starts on Wednesday and it will be interesting to see how this new Sixers team goes up and down on the offensive.
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