Ben Simmons wants all the smoke and is demanding he guards Trae Young in their NBA playoff matchup. Simmons told reporters after the Sixers’ defeat that he wants the defensive assignment against Young moving forward.

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“Yeah, I probably will do that,” said Simmons, per Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “I want to. So, if the refs ain’t going to call so many fouls, I can be physical and be 6-10, then I’ll be 6-10. But we’ll see.

“Obviously, Trae is very talented,” Simmons added. “He’s crafty and he’s not a selfish player. So he’s going to find his guys when he is open. At the same time, he is looking for his. So a lot of respect to him. But I’m looking to come in there and see if I can be a little more physical next game and see if the refs are going to let us play a little bit.”


Simmons is a playmaker and is also known for his standout defense. While Young is one of the best guards in the league at hitting difficult shots from beyond the arc and creating space for himself, he is also just 6’1″ and figures to struggle to get some shots off against the much bigger Simmons.

Young and his Atlanta Hawks stole home-court advantage away from Simmons and his Philadelphia 76ers. If the 76ers are looking to rebound in game 2, Young will have to be neutralized, and putting Simmons on him might do the trick.