76ers praise 'beast' and 'monster' Simmons

AAP

The praise is flying for Ben Simmons after he became the first NBA rookie since Magic Johnson in 1980 to record a triple-double in the league's playoffs.

Simmons scored 17 points to go with 13 rebounds and 10 assists in Philadelphia's 106-102 win over Miami Heat on Sunday (AEST), as the 76ers took a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven, first-round playoff series.

"He was a monster," Philadelphia centre Joel Embiid said of Simmons.

"I think that's the first time the sixers had a triple double (in the playoffs) since Charles Barkley (in 1991). So that's big time, he was a beast tonight."

JJ Redick, who scored a team-high 24 points for the 76ers in game four, says he's seeing a different Simmons in the playoffs.

"It's almost become expected now that he's got to go average a triple-double," Redick said.

"He's very tough physically but he's even tougher, I think, mentally.

"The last four games have been as vocal and as demonstrative as I've seen him all season. He's been fantastic. He's coming out of his shell in regards to leadership and that's huge for us."

Philadelphia coach Brett Brown says having the 21-year-old Simmons and 24-year-old Embiid at his disposal is a special situation.

"I think Ben's composure down the stretch, and I didn't take him out, and he's one of these rare athletes that rarely do I say 'Oh Ben Simmons is tired', he doesn't seem to fatigue blatantly," Brown said.

"I'm told he's the first rookie since Earvin Magic Johnson to post a playoff triple double and I think that there's greatness in both of those two players.

"They're (Simmons and Embiid) fantastic teammates, they co-exist well, the whole territorial side of NBA basketball and how you deal with fame and notoriety; that in itself is an evolution and part of what I really pay attention to (while) coaching.

"I think that those two guys were exceptional tonight; mentally (and) physically, and certainly drove the win home."

For Simmons, another staring performance seemed to be par for the course.

"I think it just means I'm doing my job," Simmons said.

"I think stats that I've averaged all season have been up there so it's not really anything new for the team or myself.

"As long as we're winning I'm happy, so all those accolades will come if we're all doing the right thing."