PHILADELPHIA -- Ben Simmons said he felt like he was playing a video game after his regular-season debut in Washington on Wednesday. But even after an 18-point, 10-rebound and 5-assist performance in a 120-115 loss to the Wizards, which 76ers coach Brett Brown called exceptional, Simmons said he saw a few things he can improve for the team’s home opener Friday.
“It was a ton of mistakes I want to fix,” Simmons said. "Communication on the court. Different terms for defense. Probably pushing the ball a little more, attacking a little bit more offensively.
“I just wanted to win, honestly. That would have been a better ending, but we have another chance tonight so I’m looking forward to that.”
On Wednesday night, Brown had mentioned that he thought Simmons could have finished a little better around the rim, but he was pleased with Simmons’ overall effort against Washington.
While Simmons played point guard for the majority of the game against the Wizards, on defense he was primarily guarding the opposing wing players. He envisions spending some time defending the lightning-quick Irving in this matchup.
Simmons is also getting an early taste of what the NBA life entails as the 76ers play the second of their three games in four nights. On Saturday they’ll face the Toronto Raptors in their first back-to-back of the season.
Veteran teammate Amir Johnson has been giving the first-year player some advice on how to handle the grueling schedule.
“The good thing about the NBA is there’s always continuous games,” Johnson said, “and you have to prepare yourself for different matchups. One matchup you got John Wall and the next you have Kyrie, and then who knows who else. You have to prepare yourself for that.”
Simmons says he’s ready for the hectic early schedule.
“I already know just take care of my body [and] make sure I’m ready for the next one,” he said. “That’s tough on a back-to-back, especially when you’re traveling. It’s going to be tough, but I’m looking forward to it. It’s all a part of the process.”