Doc Rivers Explains Decision To Not Have Ben Simmons Guard Bradley Beal During 60-Point Outing

Published 01/07/2021, 10:30 AM EST
Jan 6, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) drives against Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) during the first quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports


Bradley Beal dropped 60-points on the league-leading Philadelphia 76ers. However, the game still ended as a loss for the Washington Wizards. Even though there were a lot of stars on the court, Beal was the story from the opening. He had 57-points by the end of the third quarter, but cooled off in the fourth as the Wizards looked destined for their sixth loss of the season.

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Many questioned why Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers didn’t put Ben Simmons, their best defender, to slow Beal down. Rivers answered that question by explaining the defensive scheme Philly had planned for this game.

“I guess after 60 we probably could have made the change. We liked what Ben was doing as a roamer tonight, off of (Russell) Westbrook. They’ve been able to run. We thought it would allow him to get a lot of rebounds and push the break. We felt strongly that we can get a lot of easy baskets. So that part of it worked. The other part didn’t.”

Beal scored 60 points on the team, leading the league in defensive efficiency. However, the lack of defense doomed the Wizards to yet another loss on the season.

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Bradley Beal: Will his scoring start leading to wins?

Jan 1, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) celebrates after drawing a foul against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the third quarter at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

Bradley Beal is putting up big numbers with very little to show for it. While he has Russell Westbrook next to him, both men cannot solve the teams’ defensive woes. Neither player has ever been a high-level defender. However, the issue is that there are no defensive specialists around them either.

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Washington has been one of the best offenses in the league for a few seasons, but their defense has ranked amongst the worst in the league. Roster construction is the primary issue. Whether Washington can fix this via trade this season will be seen. However, the window of Beal and Brodie together isn’t very long, so it will be prudent for them to act faster.

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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