Ryan Broekhoff says Ben Simmons’ criticism ‘unwarranted’
Dallas Mavericks star Ryan Broekhoff says the criticism dished out to Ben Simmons throughout Philadelphia’s NBA Playoffs series with Toronto has been unwarranted.
The 76ers bowed out of the NBA season earlier today in game seven in stunning fashion – with Toronto forward Kawhi Leonard nailing a buzzer beater in a shot which bounced off the rim several times before dropping in – to seal the 92-90 win.
Simmons had 13 points, eight rebounds, five assists, one steal and three blocks in another strong performance after being the subject of heavy criticism early on in the series.
Broekhoff told Halftime Simmons will learn from the adversities he’s had to overcome this season.
“I think the criticism was a little unwarranted,” Broekhoff said.
“He’s still such a young player with so much potential, the NBA is a grind day in, day out, you’re going to have some games where you don’t perform and that’s just part of being human.
“I think the way he responded was a class act and the level he played in the last couple of games was a big step up and he’s only going to grow and get better and learn from this experience and how Playoff basketball is.
“Competing with such a quality player like Kawhi and having to guard him and everything’s just going to give him great confidence going forward that he can guard the best and play with the best.”
Broekhoff and Simmons are expected to play important roles for the Boomers in what could be their best shot at a FIBA World Cup in August with 13 Aussies managing game time in the 2018/19 NBA season.
After being undrafted in the 2013 NBA Draft, Broekhoff completed his first season in the NBA after signing a two-year deal for Dallas with the second year a team option.
Click ‘play’ to hear the full interview below.