Sixers star Joel Embiid takes a dig at co-star Ben Simmons, blames Simmons for not attempting wide-open dunk and how that cost the game
The Atlanta Hawks just keep rolling on and on. After taking down the New York Knicks in four games, the Hawks took down the top-seeded Sixers in 7 games. Trae Young, who is playing in his first-ever playoffs, has made his way to a Conference Finals.
However, the credit for the Hawks’ win does not go to the Hawks alone. Ben Simmons was a big reason as to why they were able to beat Joel Embiid and Philly. Simmons has been abysmal in the entire series. The 24-year-old has had his shooting woes in the past, but these were worse. He made only 25 of his 73 free throws these playoffs, which comes to around 33%. The fear of free throws stopped Simmons from shooting, and the same happened late in Game 7.
Simmons had a wide-open dunk attempt, yet he passed it up to Matisse Thybulle, who had two defenders on him.
Ben Simmons did not just pass this up… pic.twitter.com/4JyM7ZHNkJ
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 21, 2021
As an end result, Thybulle missed the shot and was only 1/2 from the line.
Joel Embiid is frustrated with Ben Simmons
Joel Embiid had an excellent season. The Sixers’ star was in top-3 nominations for the coveted NBA MVP award and was selected in All-NBA Second Team. Despite suffering an injury in round 1 against the Wizards, Embiid has been showing up and performing at a high level. However, when you’re sacrificing your body and doing so much, you start expecting more too.
Joel Embiid expected his fellow star to show up, but that never happened. When Ben Simmons blew that wide-open dunk attempt, the entire momentum of the game shifted. The Sixers were just 6 down, with 3.27 left in the 4th quarter. However, it felt like that shot attempt, or the lack thereof, ruined the whole Sixers atmosphere. Joel Embiid was visibly frustrated.
here is Joel Embiid’s reaction when Ben Simmons passed up the wide open dunk pic.twitter.com/lrfdYiYpkv
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) June 21, 2021
After the game, Embiid talked about the same, and called that the turning point in the match’s flow.
“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…”
– Joel Embiid 😬
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) June 21, 2021
With the Sixers preparing for the offseason earlier than they had expected, they would surely move a lot of pieces around. Ben Simmons and his future with the Sixers hang in the balance.