The Philadelphia 76ers went into their Eastern Conference Semifinals matchup against the Atlanta Hawks as the favorites, and understandable so being that they have MVP runner-up Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons along with a great supporting cast. But, they found out that nothing is guaranteed, and if you literally have a “big two” on your team and only one of them shows up, that is a sure-fire recipe for disaster.
Following their shocking game seven loss to the Trae Young, Kevin Huerter, and the Hawks at home, Ben Simmons immediately became the main focal point of criticism due to his poor shooting or lack thereof. The internet and Sixers fans wasted no time bashing the NBA All-Star for passing up shots and just not shooting the ball, period, especially in the fourth quarter when his team needed him the most.
TNT’s Inside The NBA crew weren’t any kinder on Simmons, especially Shaquille O’Neal, who has been on Simmons’ case following other lackluster showings. After watching Simmons talk about the lackluster performance that saw him finish with an abysmal 5 points, Shaq appreciated Simmons owning his poor play but didn’t think it was enough. The big man who specializes in tough love said that “if he [Simmons] was in my locker room, I would have knocked his ass out.”
Before he hit the NBA hardwood, Ben Simmons was heralded as the next big superstar in the league, and he has shown flashes. While his defensive prowess is top tier, his offensive skills have left much to the imagination. When close to the basket, he is a threat, but when it’s time to take a jump shot or a free throw, he’s the last guy on the Earth you want with the ball in his hands in a crunch-time situation.
When asked if he felt if Ben Simmons could play point guard on a championship team, Sixers head coach Doc Rivers said, “I don’t know the answer to that right now.”
After failing to get to the NBA Finals the last two years, this year was supposed to be different with Doc Rivers at the helm. Welp, it would seem like it’s time to shake things up a little bit. Could this be the last time we see Ben Simmons in a Sixers uniform? Only time will tell.
You can peep more reactions to Ben Simmons showing up smaller than Mini-Me in the gallery below.
Photo: Kevin C. Cox / Getty
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