Brett Brown gave the Sixers important news before the playoffs began.
The regular season was an 82-player learning experience. The postseason, well, that would be a completely different kind of education.
"You'll learn more about yourself, in the spirit of the next few weeks, than maybe you've learned your entire career." Brown told the Sixers. "That's what the playoffs do to you."
The semifinal of the Eastern Conference was a crash course for Ben Simmons. The Rookie of the Year candidate has been intensively studied, practiced and tested against the Celtics who run the Series 3-0.
"[I have learned] that I have a lot to do," Simmons said Saturday after losing the 101-98 of the Sixers. "It's the first season I've played, the first time I played in the playoffs, I'm learning a lot."
Simmons' selection and sales problems were increased in Game 3. The Sixers passed 98-97 late in the OT when Joel Embiid missed a fadeaway shot. Simmons grabbed the offensive rebound with an advantageous 18 seconds, plenty of time to work the clock or foul a foul. Simmons, who can sometimes play selflessly with the ball, tried a putback layup.
Marcus Morris secured the rebound and the Celtics called a time-out, leading to a free-kick from Al Horford with a 5.5-second advantage.
Simmons stuck to his decision. He described the shot as "natural instinct" and said that he would have been confident if fouled.
"I have a recording that I practice a lot beside the edge," Simmons said. "You never know what can happen after that, I have a wide-open shot that I make often and that I missed."
Brown gave his verdict on the decision of his point guard, who scored 16 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, four turns, two blocks and a steal in 43 minutes.
"I think if it was a point dunk, you would probably take that, but he did not," Brown said. "It's true, he does it all the time in practice, there are still 1  seconds, and if we have it again, you'll probably bring it out right away and let you track it and follow you and chew the clock so many levels, that's one of them, or examples, it's the thing that I see and feel most and hear the loudest inside: that our young people sometimes look young. "
The Sixers and Simmons will see that again Game, and the game, many times before the game 4. But while actually at that moment, JJ Redick Simmons' perspective on the court is different than watching from a distance.
"I think that's a verdict," Redick said. "It was right on the threshold, I do not know the exact timing, but somewhere between 18 and 25 [seconds] .You probably know it because you have the clicker, we did not have the advantage of the clicker to stop the game and there's a chance of winning two points, I'd probably say you should make it 10 out of 10. "
The Sixers had more options after the Horford layup. Brown lost to Redick and Marco Belinelli to stack the ground with shooters for a game-winning bucket. They had no chance to take the last shot. Simmons & # 39; Inbound's pass attempt to Embiid was intercepted by Horford in 3.9 seconds. Horford hit two free throws to turn the game over.
"Knew he fought for the ball," Simmons said about sales. "I figured Jo would be a bit farther out there, and Horford read it a bit faster and obviously he hit the ball."
Game 3 looked like it was a comeback performance after Simmons single-point fight in Game 2, where the Celtics threw several defenders at him and limited his passing lanes. On Saturday, he shot an efficient 7 for 11 off the field and reduced his sales in regulation.
For most of his first season, Simmons has made basketball easy. He has easily put together triple doubles, passed rookie milestones, and matured in his debut playoff series against Heat. The semifinal of the conference recalls that he is only 21 years old and has to grow year after year.
"Yesterday I told him he was just himself because his estate is more than enough," Redick said. "He's in the upper ranks of NBA players, where if he just goes out and plays and does what he does, he'll have a big impact on the game."
The Sixes need it in Game 4.