The Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets are set to face off this week. There has already been a decent amount of trash talk.
Although Philly owns first place in the East, the Nets are the team that everyone expects to represent the conference in the Finals.
Currently, Brooklyn is 5-2 to win the championship – best in the whole NBA.
Ahead of this week’s showdown, Ben Simmons sat down and offered his thoughts on where the Sixers fit into the league’s hierarchy.
The young star’s message can be best summed up as a warning shot to both the Nets and Los Angeles Lakers.
In a conversation with Rich Hofmann of The Athletic, Simmons got very blunt about a potential rivalry with the Nets.
“Rivalry? I mean if they keep that same team, definitely, but it’s going to be hard to do that,” Simmons said.
“We’re going for the past champs — the Lakers. They were the ones that won the championship so you got to give respect to them. Obviously Brooklyn has a lot of talent, but at the end of the day, there’s only one ball and you got to play defense.”
Just give LaMelo Rookie of the Year now. https://t.co/jyuEfUi2x4
— Game 7 (@game7__) April 8, 2021
Philly currently ranks seventh in the NBA in points allowed per game with 108.3. Simmons is a big reason why, as his ability to guard one through five on defense is nearly unmatched in the league.
This has been something of an up and down season for Simmons off the court. He got disrespected by a Washington Wizards announcer. Music star Chris Brown hated on him. He got entangled in a weird scandal.
But nothing makes people forget about the bad stuff quite like winning. And Simmons has the chance to shut a lot of haters up by beating the Nets this year and making it to the Finals.