Thursday night’s pivotal Game 3 between the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center will be an intriguing matchup for a number reasons – including the head-to-head battle between Jared Dudley and Ben Simmons.
On Wednesday afternoon, Dudley told reporters that he expects to play “a lot” after sitting out Game 2 with a strained calf. He also fered the following assessment Simmons’ game.
“I think that Ben Simmons is a great player in transition. Once you slow him up in the half-court, I think he’s average. He’s a player that, when he picks up speed, he’s a load.”
Naturally, reporters had to ask Simmons about that “average” comment today. The 22-year old was clearly aware Dudley’s remarks, as he simply responded with a smirk, “It’s coming from Jared Dudley.”
Prior to the start their first-round series, Dudley told WFAN’s “Carlin, Maggie and Bart”:
“We will leave him Simmons] wide open until he proves in this league that he can make it. Right now he’s not even attempting it. So we know that he’s not going to be able to do that for the most part.”
The 33-year old journeyman helped lock up Simmons as the Nets stole Game 1 in Philly, but a strained calf kept him on the sidelines for Game 2, as the Sixers evened the series with a blowout victory.
Simmons had just nine points and three assists in Game 1, but bounced back with a triple-double in Game 2. Game 3, airing on TNT tonight, is scheduled to tipf at 8pm ET.