Butler tells Simmons to attack after 76ers defeat
Jimmy Butler said Ben Simmons has to be more aggressive if the Philadelphia 76ers are to advance past the Toronto Raptors in the NBA Eastern Conference semi-finals.
Simmons had just 10 points, five rebounds and four assists as the 76ers lost 101-96 to the Raptors in Game 4 of the second-round playoff series.
It was another quiet outing for All-Star Simmons – who only managed 10 points, seven assists and seven rebounds in Game 3 – as the Raptors levelled the matchup at 2-2.
And Sixers star Butler had some advice for team-mate Simmons following the defeat in Philadelphia.
"I told him [Simmons] - every time down the floor to attack," Butler, who led the 76ers with 29 points and 11 rebounds, said post-game.
"Every single time. If coach calls the play and you feel like you got the mismatch, by all means attack. And then if coach says 'Why'd you do it?' I promise you I will say 'I told him to do it'.
"I want Ben to be aggressive just like I want Jo [Embiid] to be aggressive. Attack. We're not gonna win without you guys. You have to be ready to attack it at any point in time.
"If he has the ball in transition, [I'm like] 'Ben, don't pass the ball in transition. Attack every single time'. That's how we're gonna win this game."
While Simmons' attacking output has not been as high, the Australian's defensive efforts have earned praise.
Simmons impressed the 76ers with his defense on Raptors star Kawhi Leonard and James Ennis said: "He played hard defense, he gave Kawhi a good challenge.
"Kawhi's a top-five player in the NBA [and] he doesn't miss often. Since Ben's been on him, he's been making Kawhi work a lot. Ben's going to find his rhythm. Next game you'll see Ben come in to his own."
The series returns to Toronto for Game 5 on Tuesday and as the 76ers eye their first Conference finals appearance since 2001, Simmons added: "Mentality stays the same: get out there and get a win.
"You never let the highs get too high or the lows get too low. It's onto the next game. We still have an amazing opportunity to go to the Eastern Conference championship, get to the NBA Finals. We are looking forward to it."