Ben Simmons credited team basketball as key to the Boston Celtics' 109-98 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday. Simmons praised the Celtics as a collective unit but gave them a back-handed compliment by saying that they don't have any great individuals.
In the postgame press conference, Simmons was asked to give his thoughts on the game and the Celtics. The former Rookie of the Year said that he had fun playing against Boston and complimented their teamwork. However, he added that the Celtics don't have any great players.
"Coming in here and playing a team like that, that's fun," Simmons said. "You want to play the best team. The way they play, they're very together — defensively and offensively. I don't think they have any great individuals, but when you put it together, they play team basketball. They know their roles; they share the ball. They're very consistent."
It was nice to hear Simmons say good things about their rivals. The Boston Celtics have the best record in the NBA, and it's because they play like a team. Interim coach Joe Mazzulla is doing a tremendous job in the absence of Ime Udoka.
However, for Ben Simmons to think that the Celtics have no great players could cause a riot in Boston. Jayson Tatum is an MVP candidate this season, averaging 30.6 points, 8.2 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.1 steals. Tatum is shooting 46.8% from the field, 34.7% from beyond the arc and 86.0% from the free-throw line.
The Celtics also have Jaylen Brown, who's already an All-Star. Brown is having the best season of his career, averaging 27.2 points, 7.1 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.1 steals per game. In addition to Tatum and Brown, the Celtics have great role players such as Al Horford, Robert Williams III and Marcus Smart.
Ben Simmons went scoreless in Brooklyn Nets loss to Boston Celtics
The game between the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics was a close one in the first three quarters. However, the Celtics pulled away in the fourth to get a 109-98 win. Jayson Tatum struggled with his shooting but still finished with 20 points, 11 rebounds and five assists.
It was a total team effort for a Celtics team missing Jaylen Brown, who was out with an injury. Six players scored in double figures, including Malcolm Brogdon, who had 16 points off the bench, while Derrick White scored 15 as a spot starter.
Meanwhile, Ben Simmons went scoreless against Boston. He didn't make any of his three shots but had nine rebounds, 13 assists and two steals. Kyrie Irving led the Nets with 24 points and six assists, while T.J. Warren scored 20 points off the bench. Brooklyn were without Kevin Durant, who's recovering from a knee injury.