‘He rises to the occasion’: Ben Simmons leads way for 76ers

Despite what Donovan Mitchell may think, Ben Simmons is a rookie by definition and had no qualms letting his opponents know that, while he may be playing his first season, he already has the mindset of a hardened playoff veteran.

Ahead of Game 1 against the Miami Heat, Simmons said he didn’t have any pre-game nerves and was “ready to play”.

Play he did, finishing with 17 points (5-13 from the field), 14 assists and 9 rebounds — falling just shy of his 13th triple-double of the season — as the Sixers took a 1-0 lead in their best-of-seven series with their 130-103 win. Simmons’ 14 assists were the second most all-time by a rookie in his playoff debut, behind only Magic Johnson’s 16.

“Playing a team, like the Heat, you gotta come in and be locked in the whole game,” Simmons said after the contest. “There are no breaks. That’s the biggest thing I’ve noticed with this first [playoff] game than the regular season is you’ve got to be locked-in the whole game.”

Simmons opened the first

Article source: http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/23177892/nba-playoffs-76ers-heat-ben-simmons-rookie-mentality-veteran-performance

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