Ben Simmons compares the Sixers’ disappointing Game 7 loss to the fashion in which the Nets were eliminated by the Bucks.
After forcing a Game7 back at home, The Philadelphia 76ers suffered a humiliating loss at the hands of a tenacious and young Atlanta Hawks squad lead by Trae Young.
Despite having an outstanding regular season, the star-studded 76ers managed to squander another opportunity to get their hands on championship gold thanks to Ben Simmons and his consistent inability to shoot the basketball.
Okay, while assigning all the blame on the ‘Fresh Prince’ might seem harsh keeping in mind the fact that Joel Embid practically played an entire series with a torn meniscus, Simmons’ playoff performance has been nothing short of deplorable.
Averaging 12/8/9 in the playoffs, the 2018 Rookie of the Year shot a measly 34.2% from the free-throw line making only 25/73 free throws in both the series.
His infamous free throw woes led the Hawks to use the ‘Hack- a- Ben’ strategy which made the 24-year-old wary of shooting the ball especially when it mattered the most.
Perfectly exemplified in the 4th quarter of Game 7, Simmons decided to forego an easy dunk only to pass the ball to Matisse Thybulle who had two defenders on him and subsequently made only 1 out of 2 free throws.
In a post-Game interview, 76ers big man Joel Embid was sure to mention how this mishap adversely affected the team’s confidence late in the game.
“I’ll be honest. I thought the turning point was when we — I don’t know how to say it — is when we had an open shot and we made one free throw.”
Despite constant criticism, Simmons has found himself unable to get rid of this gaping hole in his game which has yet again lead to the downfall of this top-seeded Philadelphia 76ers squad.
Ben Simmons downplays his performance comparing the 76ers loss with the Nets losing to the Bucks
After leaving 76ers fans and critics outraged with his sub-par performance throughout the series, it seems like Simmons hasn’t had enough making the following nonchalant statement in his post-game interview.
“We lost. It sucks. I am who I am, it is what it is. It’s not easy to win and it shows. Nets got finished by the Bucks, it’s not easy to win.”
While the first line gives a sense that Simmons has made peace with his failure almost to an extent that he accepts it for who he is, the comparison with the Nets loss to Bucks is absurd and ignorant.
The Brooklyn Nets were plagued by injury the entire season more so during their series with the Milwaukee Bucks while the 76ers were the top seed in the east playing with two All-Stars in Embiid and Simmons. It seems like Ben’s stubborn unwillingness or inability to develop his shot ever since he made it into the league is undoubtedly going to cost him his spot on the roster.
Ben Simmons: “We lost. It sucks. I am who I am, it is what it is. It’s not easy to win and it shows. Nets got finished by the Bucks, it’s not easy to win.”
— Rich Hofmann (@rich_hofmann) June 21, 2021
While there is a lot to admire about his game, it is time for the 76ers to accept that Simmons cannot operate as their 2nd best player if they plan on winning a championship with their primary talent Joel Embiid.