A Backcourt Rising

by Lauren Rosen

Look out - there’s a new backcourt in town.

All-Star point man Ben Simmons is off to a hot start in the preseason, with a new partner helping fire him up.

Aiding in Simmons’ early success and continued growth is Josh Richardson, who’s turned plenty of heads since training camp’s open. Already, the duo is expressing mutual respect.

“[Ben] likes to run, so I'm just trying to make sure I'm one of the guys that can keep up with him, that's out there with him, so he has passes or make bailouts. He’s a smart player.” Richardson said.

“I love playing with [Josh],” Simmons said. “Off the court, he’s a great person and on it, he’s a dog. Defensively, he’s amazing and offensively he’s athletic and knocking down shots.”

So far, we’ve seen Simmons and Richardson capitalize on their speed to find one another offensively. Brett Brown has his eye on the opposite end of the floor, too. 

“They try to find each other, but… I see it way more defensively, way more,” Brown said following Wednesday's practice. “I think it’ll grow offensively. I do see signs, but as it sits, I just get so excited about what I see with those two guys just stalking opposition backcourts.”

Brown added that the idea of his backcourt matching up defensively against others is “beyond exciting.”

Tobias Harris has also taken notice of the newfound partnership.

“You’re seeing both of them find each other’s spots, really. I think it’s between them two, definitely a bond,” Harris said. 

The chemistry between the pair transcends the court. They've tag-teamed media availabilities a few times.

The banter has been solid.

Harris sees extra significance in the bond between Simmons and Richardson, hoping it's something the rest of the Sixers can follow.

“That’s what we want to be about. Enjoying playing with each other, and then off the floor, enjoying getting to know one another.”

Simmons and Richardson, Richardson and Simmons -- another thing to enjoy as preseason continues and opening night approaches.

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