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Sixers vs. Pacers Postgame Quotes: ‘You hear me cheer-lead the cause of him being on an NBA All-Defensive team’

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NBA: Indiana Pacers at Philadelphia 76ers James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

Brett Brown (PHI)

On moving Ben Simmons around all night…

The plays that he can make from an athletic standpoint and the plays he can make from a physical standpoint [late] in the game, are just elite. You hear me cheer-lead the cause of him being on an NBA All-Defensive team and it’s examples like that [late steal] that make it a no-brainer.

On Ben getting to the line plenty tonight…

On the seven free throws that he shot and made, he looked confident doing that. I think there is progressive growth in that area and he went and played body ball and invited that sort of physical style, which got him way more free throws.

On Joel Embiid getting to the line more in recent games…

It’s a mentality. That is a disposition and a mentality, and it is more than a stat. To me, we shot 40 free throws last night and had 36 tonight. I like both of those things and you sure like them a lot more when you make them, but Embiid made a statement. Nobody can underestimate the hurt that he felt after the Toronto game where he felt like he let us down. We have seen him respond.

On the scoring mentality that Tobias Harris has had as of lately…

I have preached it to everyone and to him as well: I want him to find the rim. A scorer is a scorer, but driving [to the basket] is what we want. We need him to score and I want him to think like a scorer. I think that he is, but I also think that he has been improving tremendously defensively.

Tobias is very prideful. You can’t just dust off scores [against you], there has to be some level of pain. He wants to get better. He’s a prideful person and I forget sometimes, really, how young he is. He’s got character and he’s an athlete and that can point to defense. I think that he has the characteristics that can make him an elite defensive player.

On the defense of the team tonight…

We strive to play defense on a more regular basis, and we are the second-best defensive team in the league, so I shouldn’t be crying too much, but that is the bar and the standard that we have set for ourselves.

Joel Embiid (PHI)

On playing two tough back-to-back games...

Last night, we were down by a lot against New York and we did a better job in the second half, especially on defense. On offense, we just moved the ball, and everybody found their spots. James [Ennis III] was great last night and then tonight, it was a collective effort. It started on defense. Ben had a couple of great steals, and we went from there.

On taking lessons from a game like this…

Indiana is a pretty good team, so anytime you get a win like that, it’s always great. There is so much more that we can improve on, so we are going to keep on getting better.

On how much he enjoys matchups against bigs like Domantas Sabonis

I play physical and I put my body on the line every single night. Obviously, he’s physical, so it was a great battle.

On getting to the line more often, including tonight’s 15-for-15…

Since the Toronto game, I changed my mindset. The games prior to that, I had not been as aggressive as I was last year, shooting 10 free throws per game. The last couple of games, I have been more physical and I’ve created more contact, causing whoever is guarding me to react to it.

On the importance of him playing in back-to-backs…

I’m getting better every game and the season is about getting better every single game, ramping up to get ready for the playoffs. That’s been my approach since the season started. I’m looking to get better every single game. My intensity is going up every single game.

Tobias Harris (PHI)

On Joel’s play and how he helps the team…

I think we’re at our best when Joel’s that aggressive, he summons attention, double teams, and he’s been a willing passer to make plays out of that. It overall helps everybody just because he’s such a focal point, so if you’re coming off pick-and-rolls they’re going back to him and whatnot. I mean he’s a beast, you can’t guard him down there. You either foul or hope he misses.

On what was the key down the stretch to be able to secure the win…

It was at that point [where] whichever team can get a stop and is able to get out and run and get a bucket [will win]. I thought for us it was Ben being able to get those steals and being able to stop those possessions for them without being able to get a shot up was huge for us.

Ben Simmons (PHI)

On being aggressive and receiving encouragement from his teammates…

It’s really been Joel and guys like that making sure I’m being aggressive and getting to the rim. Once I’m doing that, I’m able to make plays and find my guys in the corners or Joel rolling.

On playing at home…

The Sixers have the best fans in the NBA, and that’s not being biased… if you go anywhere else there’s no atmosphere like it, so we want to give everything we have to our city. It’s a big responsibility and that’s what I believe.

On back-to-back wins and how important games like this are …

It’s huge, because in the long run when the playoffs come you want guys to have that experience with different situations and going through different types of adversity and just being prepared for it.

Nate McMillan (IND)

On being in a position to win…

Yeah, we gave ourselves an opportunity to win and didn’t execute down the stretch. You know, a couple offensive sets and 20 turnovers—a couple of those turnovers came late. Those are big plays. You’ve got to be calm going down the stretch and be clear about what you’re doing and execute in that time, but we didn’t.

On how the team got back into the game…

I just thought we came out slow. They came out aggressive. I thought they came out—I thought they showed that they respected us. And they came out to play. That first quarter—first half—I thought we came in just slow and [with] no energy, and we finally got ourselves going in the second half. [We were] able to get back into the game, but, slow start. We finished pretty strong.

On problems that Joel Embiid presents…

You’ve got to get help down on him, you know, with the bigs. If you allow him to play down deep, no one’s going to be able to stop him. I thought we were late a couple times with our traps. Our bigs got in foul trouble and he was marching to the free throw line. I think they shot 36 free throws and Embiid had 15. When you allow him to get that deep, you’re going to be in trouble.

Domantas Sabonis (IND)

On if tonight’s performance shows that they’re right there with the top-caliber teams…

We knew it was going to be a tough game off a back-to-back. One of the top teams in the East. We felt like we could’ve won the game. We gave ourselves that chance, but we just didn’t execute enough at the end.

On toughest part of facing the 76ers

They’ve just got a lot of weapons. They’ve got a lot of weapons and that’s why they’re one of the top teams. It’s not just one player. You’ve got to stop several guys. Everybody on the team can play. In the NBA, if you give them a chance, everybody is going to come out hungry.

On if Philadelphia is the most physical team that they play…

Definitely the [biggest], physical team. Yeah, I would say. It’s always fun to come here. Good atmosphere to just come out and just play.

Jeremy Lamb (IND)

On the intensity and the way the teams went at it…

It was a big-time game. We both wanted to win. Very competitive and I love games like that. They had a great crowd. It definitely was a great atmosphere.

On Philadelphia’s size and quickness…

Yeah, they’re tough, but I think we guarded them well. They’ve got a lot of weapons. They’re a tough team, for sure, but I think we guarded them well. I think Malcolm [Brogdon] did a great job on [Ben] Simmons. I think [we] did a good job on [Joel] Embiid, but, they’re tough covers. They’re going to get their points, but we had a chance to win the game.