After a bit of a break from attempting to guess minutes in meaningless basketball games, we’re back for the postseason with some of our best NBA playoff props.
Tonight’s play comes from the Game 2 of the series between the Nets and 76ers in Philadelphia, where the home team will be looking to bounce back from a bad loss in Game 1. It was a particularly rough one for Ben Simmons, who heard it form the hostile home crowd for his ugly 9-point outing.
I like the bounce-back spot for Simmons tonight, and here’s why.
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Sixers PG Ben Simmons
Over 15.5 Points (+110)
Simmons struggled mightily in Game 1 in versus the Nets, shooting 4-9 from the field and 1-5 for the free throw line for those 9 measly points.
Afterwards, 76ers coach Brett Brown picked his game apart.
“I do agree at times that he passed into some tight windows … Should he have pulled up and taken some top-of-the-key jump shots? Maybe. Possibly.”
Simmons agreed with his coach’s assessment, stating after the game that he needed to be more aggressive.
“I have to take it upon myself to go to the rim and attack. I would love to be put (on the post). I got (Jared) Dudley and the other kid guarding me (Treveon Graham), so I got to be more aggressive attacking them.”
In the regular season, Brooklyn played well against opposing point guards (PG). Versus this position, the Nets:
- Allowed to 10th-fewest points per game
- T-11th lowest field goal percentage per game
- 5th-fewest free throws per game
- Ranked fourth in defensive efficiency
However, his individual matchups look a little bit better on paper. The Nets have a particularly deep rotation, and there are a wide variety of defenders that they can throw Simmons’ way:
- D’Angelo Russell (38th out of 102 PGs in Defensive real plus-minus (DRPM))
- Spencer Dinwiddie (98th out of 102 PGs in DRPM)
- Jared Dudley (28th out of 92 SFs in DRPM)
- Treveon Graham (14th out of 114 SGs in DRPM)
Will Simmons Get it Done?
In four regular season games against Brooklyn, Simmons averaged 17.75 points on 13.25 shot attempts in 32.5 minutes per game.
With all parties openly talking about the need for more aggression tonight, and his team desperate for a win to avoid heading on the road down 2-0, we can project Simmons to play at least 35 minutes (averaged 34.2 on season) and take more shots than last game (averaged 12.2 FGA per game).
I like the plus odds here, and I believe this number remains a value to a price of -105.