“If you guys don’t know the treasure you have by now,” Rivers said, “then shame on everyone, because he’s been fantastic for us.”
And kudos to Simmons who – despite Rivers’ support – played as if he took the criticism to heart.
Simmons scored far more aggressively and maintained his all-around contributions in Game 2, leading the 76ers to a 120-95 win over Washington.
Neither Simmons (22 points, nine rebounds, eight assists, two steals and a block) nor Joel Embiid (22 points, seven rebounds and three assists) played in the fourth quarter. They did plenty earlier – especially Embiid with a suggestive celebration after a basket:
JOEL EMBIIIIIIIIIIID WHAAAAAT pic.twitter.com/GCpLFuLw0m
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) May 27, 2021
Aside from that fan, Philadelphia is outclassing the Wizards in this 1-8 series. Nos. 1, 2 and 3 seeds that won the first two games of a best-of-seven first-round series have advanced all 64 times.
Bradley Beal (33 points) tried to keep Washington close, but the challenge was too great. It’ll get even tougher if Westbrook, who was leaving early with an ankle injury when the fan poured popcorn on him, isn’t completely healthy for Game 3 Saturday.