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Sixers vs. Raptors Game 6 Postgame Quotes

NBA: Playoffs-Toronto Raptors at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Brett Brown, PHI

On Jimmy Butler’s performance…

The way he started, even the way he ended the first half, he just stamped his authority and his skill package and his will—pick whatever words you want—he was all over that game. The mood in the locker room as we went through sort of an early shootaround—our version of shootaround—before, you could sense the serious side. They got the moment. And I think he got it as much as anybody, and led us. He was a tremendous leader and his performance mirrored his attitude.

On Ben Simmons’ performance, especially early…

He was our bell ringer tonight. I thought Mike Scott off the bench was outstanding. I mean, it’s stupid when you look at Joel [Embiid]’s +/-, to be a +40 is hard to do. And then you see Jimmy Butler’s performance, and so for Ben to be our bell ringer with some of those other performances sort of confirms what I think he did tonight. His no turnovers, his attack mode—pick ‘em—his four offensive rebounds, his push and pace on missed shots, especially. All those things were what made him be an NBA All-Star at 22 years old. I thought he was excellent tonight and we needed it all.

On what sparked Ben [Simmons]’ performance tonight…

He’s 22 years old. And his game, as he grows his shot and tries to get a better command of his position, and deals with the stage of the NBA Playoffs—shame on us for thinking like he’s going to be all day, every day, here he is and he’s just going to go knock it out of the park. It’s just not fair. So, what he did today was lots of the reasons he was an NBA All-Star at age 22, as an NBA point guard with the ball. And I thought that on missed shots and him pushing it, he was really good. I thought him getting us organized out of our offense after they made a shot was really good. I really loved his no turnovers and I really loved his offensive rebounds. I thought those two things, amongst all those comments I just made, are what stood out the most. It’s the evolution of a 22-year-old, 6-10 point guard [who] used to be a college four man.

On Game 7...

I’ve been fortunate to be in a few Game 7’s and they’re very unique. They’re special. They are a life lesson, a life opportunity. And [Jimmy Butler] sure allowed us to better achieve that.

Ben Simmons, PHI

On pushing the pace a lot more tonight…

I think it was just making a point of actually doing it and not [just] talking about it. Obviously, I’m pretty quick, so I’m able to push the ball. I think it was just being aggressive downhill and just playing my game.

On what it was like coming to the arena today knowing what was at stake…

It’s more so for me, just going out there and doing everything I can to win and the end result’s going to be the end result. Everyone had that same mentality. I think it’s just going out there, playing hard and not regretting anything.

On Jimmy Butler’s play and what it means to the team…

It’s just the energy he brings, offensively and defensively. When you have a guy like that, it sets the tone. Everyone’s able to feed off that, so he really gets us going in the games. Especially James Ennis [III], guys like that, Mike Scott, guys who come out and just play physical and have that passion for the game allows everybody to have that same mentality and mindset.

On taking this win and energy back to Toronto…

It’s huge. Before I came on the floor I kind of just looked at the starting five, our starting five. I was like, “We’ve got a lot of talent.” And with that comes responsibility. Everybody has to do their job. It goes back to starting with defense, playing together, sharing the ball and moving it. It’s special.

Joel Embiid, PHI

On his mood on the floor...

It started from the beginning, coming in. Knowing that this was a do-or-die situation, so I knew that I had to come in with high spirits and you play the usual, like you always do, but that’s what I’ve got to keep on doing. Do the little things and everything will follow.

On if he’s been given guidance on how many minutes he should play each game...

They haven’t told me; it’s the playoffs, I’ve got to play. If I’ve got to play 45 minutes and push myself out there then that’s what I have to do. If that’s what it takes to win, if my presence on the court is needed, I’ve got to do that. Doesn’t matter if it takes the whole game, so I’m fine with it. I’ll keep on pushing myself; in Game 7 we’re going to need it. I’m going to need to be on the court and I intend to be ready for everything if I have to play a whole game.

Jimmy Butler, PHI

On resiliency…

I think the game is a game of runs as a whole. It’s all about withstanding those runs. More than anything, I think tonight we let our defense start us out and dictate our offense which is what I always say, whenever we play like that, we are hard to beat. Home, on the road, neutral site, that’s how we have to play basketball.

On his performance tonight…

I just came out aggressive, as they tell me to be all the time. The game is simple, I shoot the ball when I’m open, sometimes I shoot it when I’m not open and I try to get out in transition, get some steals, get some rebounds and take off. That’s just how the game went for us tonight. Home crowd, crowd was great, no boos, they booed us a little bit, we appreciate it, but all in all they were really into the game.

Nick Nurse, TOR

On the variety of scoring differences…

Yeah, so there’s been two, two and two right? Two close games, two each way. I don’t know, I guess a lot of that has to do with just momentum. And you know for us, I still think we just miss so many shots early, and they were just playing off the rebounds so often, right? It was just, they were just playing, they were getting them off rebound and pushing it out on us. We were not doing a great job in transition and then when we did, we ended up cross-matched a little bit, and they made us pay for those. And then when we did make them miss, they were getting their share of put-backs as well, so we kind of had kind of three things going there that was so what attributed to our poor shooting. But that, again, I’m not sure why both teams are really letting that affect them so much in the four games that have not been close.

On Joel Emiid…

I think you’re right, I think we’ve done a pretty good job on him but I think his presence was a lot more than his baskets tonight right? And for whatever reason, I’m not sure, but it seems like again we weren’t into the paint as much as we would have liked to and I imagine he had something to do with that, right? But again I’m pretty happy with the shots we made him take or I mean I can only recall maybe one total that we didn’t even rotate out to him, I think he missed that one, right? The other ones were kind of slow closed or eased, you’re going to because you’re protecting the paint, you know versus [Ben] Simmons, [Jimmy] Butler and [Tobias] Harris and those guys driving you going to give up some of those kickbacks and you know you do the best you can to contest him and he happened to make a couple of them tonight. That’s all I’ve got for you.

On going into game 7…

Well, I think you know it’s not unlike where we’ve been a couple of times in this series already right? They’re critical games, they’re all critical. You know and we just—we’ve got to play with great physicality and great speed, connected on the defensive end. I think we’ve got to play our—one of our best defensive games of the year... play with some gusto on the offense.

Kyle Lowry, TOR

On the game overall…

They were really good tonight in transition. On the boards, they were really good. Second-chance points, points in the paint, they did a lot of things good tonight. We tried to keep getting back into it and we didn’t shoot the ball well tonight. And we had a lot of open looks early and, you know, we missed them. We didn’t play well tonight, but we’ve got to continue to look at the film and compare and see what we can do better, and see what we messed up tonight.

On how much he feels the defensive presence of Joel Embiid when he’s out there…

He’s an All-NBA player, All-Defensive Team type of player. Big body, he’s smart. We know where he’s at. You’re conscious of where he is on the floor. Pascal [Siakam] had some really good looks tonight, missed some open threes, but you know [Embiid] going to help. But when he’s out there, you know, he’s a big body, he’s a force on both ends. So yes, we notice when he’s out there and when he’s not.

On if he’s allowed himself to start thinking about Game 7…

Yeah, it’s going to be a big game for us. We’ve got to play harder. We’ve got to do everything we need to do to win the game. It’s Game 7. It’s do or die. Win or go home, really.

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