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Mitchell defends Simmons: Every player has that night

167   //    05 May 2018, 06:00 IST
Donovan Mitchell
Donovan Mitchell

Philadelphia 76ers rookie point guard Ben Simmons had a rough day on Thursday, but he received some surprise backing from Donovan Mitchell.

Simmons, a candidate for NBA Rookie of the Year, scored just one point with five turnovers, finishing the game with a minus-23 on the plus/minus scale during the 76ers' game-two loss to the Boston Celtics.

But Utah Jazz guard Mitchell, perhaps Simmons' biggest threat to the ROY award, backed up the 76ers star by saying those types of games are common for even the best players.

"The biggest thing that people don't understand is that every player has that night," Mitchell told a news conference, via ESPN.

"You look at LeBron [James] against the Mavs in the Finals, he had eight points [in game four in 2011]. There was one year I was watching [James] Harden play against the Warriors, and he had about 10 turnovers in a playoff game. So it happens to everybody.

"It just so happens that it happened to [Simmons], and I expect him to respond back. He's a good player. Good players respond back, and it's all about the response. It's a testament to his character. But it happens. He can't play great every night. It's not as easy as some people think."

Mitchell has averaged 26.1 points, 6.4 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game this postseason.

The Jazz are tied 1-1 with the Rockets in their Western Conference semi-finals series heading into Friday's game three.

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