PHILADELPHIA – Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers said he maintains a “catalog” of videos showing what he considers to be unfair markings against his All-Star defender Ben Simmons.
Rivers said he wants the league to sanction Simmons properly, as the Sixers will rely on Simmons’ defense, in part, to try to get out of the hole they fell to after losing in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinal to Bring Young and the Atlanta Hawks.
“We like that Ben marks Trae, who does a great job of fouling, so we have to be careful about that,” Rivers stressed. “Sometimes he misses it, sometimes he sells them really well, so if you let Ben mark it, then yeah, I’m for it.”
The Sixers, with the first seed in the East, lost the first game to the Hawks, who have the fifth seed, with a score of 128-124 on Sunday, a game in which Young scored 35 points when making 11 of 23 shots from the field. and the nine free throws he attempted and recorded 10 assists.
Rivers said Simmons, who was fouled four times in Game 1, is punished for his large size at 6-11 (2.11 meters) and weighing 240 pounds (108.9 kilos).
“Aggression should not be a fault. One of the things I’ve done is catalog those plays all year long, so it’s not just about Trae, ”Rivers explained. “In general, the times Ben has been fouled for playing physicality and good defense, he’s not doing anything (against the rules). Offense also hits as much as defense.
“I have a list of games where they blow the whistle. It’s almost like, ‘Wait a minute. That’s defensive ‘, but that’s the way it is and you have to adjust. It’s something I tell my players, but you should never be punished for playing well, playing defense in a solid, legal and physical way, “he added.
Rivers said he believes the NBA does a “very good job” with refereeing overall, but wants Simmons to be treated fairly.
Sixers guard Danny Green was the main defender against Young in the first half of Sunday’s game, when Atlanta led by as much as 26 points.
“The difficult thing about being defensive is that you want to feel the offense and reach your body when they use screens,” Green said Monday. “When you can’t hit him, because obviously he’s going to cause contact, fouls, stop, jump backward or whatever you can use to make a foul, you have to play further away and that makes you run freely.
“So it’s harder for anyone to mark anyone that way,” he added.
The Sixers had more success with Young in the second half of Game 1, limiting him to 10 points after hitting three of 10 shots and making him lose the ball three times.
Mattise Thybulle acknowledged that Philadelphia may have better results against the Hawks star, but noted that it is not an easy opponent to study, with or without help from the referees.
“(Trae) is really versatile. He is very fast and his ability to navigate the paint and make plays by himself and with his teammates makes one believe that you can limit him in one thing, but find another way to hurt, ”Thybulle stressed. “In the end, it’s just about having players that limit him, that stand in his way and as a team, just finish the plays with rotations and rebounds.”