Brett Brown suggests multiple Sixers could guard Raptors star Kawhi Leonard

PHILADELPHIA —It’s assumed that the 76ers will use Ben Simmons to guard Raptors superstar Kawhi Leonard when the teams play their Eastern Conference semifinal series beginning Saturday in Toronto.

Thursday before practice, Sixers coach Brett Brown hinted that Simmons alone won’t have the task of trying to stop Leonard, who averaged 27.8 points in Toronto’s first-round series win over Orlando.

“We have the ability to have multiple people guard Kawhi,” Brown said. “So it will be wrong to assume that is (Simmons’) matchup for the series.”

Of course, Brown said Simmons will see his share of Leonard.

“For sure, he will be on him,” Brown said. “I think we have different candidates. We hope to show Kawhi some different looks.”

One of those looks might include 6-foot-7 James Ennis, who is among the Sixers’ key reserves. Ennis also has postseason experience guarding Leonard —in 2017, when Leonard and San Antonio beat Ennis’ Memphis Grizzlies team in six games during an opening-round Western Conference series.

“He averaged 30 in the series, and I did the best I could,” said Ennis, who started four of the six games and averaged 26.5 minutes in the series.

Actually, Leonard averaged 31.2 points, shooting .548 from the field and .483 from 3-point range.

“I know he scored a lot on pick-and-rolls, so that will be the key,” Ennis said. “So defending pick-and-rolls and also being physical with him, making his shots tough. It is going to be a challenge, and I am excited for the challenge and ready to guard him.”

———

Jimmy Butler had many roles in the five-game series win over the Brooklyn Nets in the opening round. In Game 1, he scored a playoff career-high 36 points. After that, he became more of a facilitator. During the Sixers’ 112-108 win in Game 4, he was an enforcer, sort of. Butler was ejected from the game after shoving Jared Dudley to the floor during a melee.

In the Brooklyn series, Butler averaged 15.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 2.0 steals and played his usual tough defensive game.

“I do whatever it takes for my team to win,” Butler said. “I know what I am capable of.”

He said whether he is needed to score, defend, dish, or do all of that, he’ll be ready.

“We have a lot of talented guys on the roster who do a lot of things well, and I just fit in where I can fit in,” Butler said.

Just Posted

Red Deerians shop for exotic plants at spring plant sale

Exotic plants are popular at the Red Deer & District Garden Club’s… Continue reading

Central Albertans come together to end MS

Red Deer’s Bre Fitzpatrick has MS. The medication the 34-year-old is on… Continue reading

Wildfire crews watching for dangerous wind shift in High Level, Alta.

HIGH LEVEL, Alta. — Crews battling an enormous wildfire just outside the… Continue reading

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

OTTAWA — While most Canadians firmly back the Charter of Rights and… Continue reading

Red Deer stamp-collecting event a hit, local club expected to start in fall

Postage stamp-loving Red Deerians can expect to have a place to gather… Continue reading

WATCH: Cars, airplanes, motorcyles on display at Red Deer Airport

Cars, motorcycle and airplane enthusiasts united at the Red Deer Airport Sunday… Continue reading

Cast your votes for the Best of Red Deer

Nominations for the Best of Red Deer Readers’ Choice Awards are officially… Continue reading

Bid to get D-Day beaches added to list of UN World Heritage Sites in limbo

OTTAWA — The beaches of Normandy, where the Allies stormed ashore to… Continue reading

Could this 20-year-old Montreal polyglot be Canada’s most multilingual student?

MONTREAL — Georges Awaad answers the phone with a polite “Hello,” but… Continue reading

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

OTTAWA — The federal Liberals have laid out their proposal for rules… Continue reading

Trump’s trophy day of sumo, golf and cheeseburgers in Japan

TOKYO — President Donald Trump presented a special U.S.-made trophy to the… Continue reading

Two dead, one seriously injured, following explosion in Calgary home’s garage

CALGARY — Police in Calgary say they believe a house fire where… Continue reading

Raptors fans spill onto the streets ahead of potentially historic game

Cars honked, exhilarated fans chanted and long lines formed outside bars and… Continue reading

Most Read