The Philadelphia 76ers have absolutely collapsed in the last two games against the Atlanta Hawks. On Wednesday night, they cruised into halftime with a 22-point lead but quickly saw it deteriorate mid-way through the third quarter. While the team was dreadful in the final period especially, Sixers guard Ben Simmons once again had an atrocious performance.
The Aussie had just eight points in 38 minutes on the floor, while also grabbing four boards and dishing out nine assists. Like every single opponent has done all postseason, the Hawks continued to foul Simmons because of his inability to shoot a free throw. It definitely worked, with the 24-year-old going just 4 for 14 from the charity stripe.
Ben Simmons is now shooting 32% from the line in the playoffs. It’s only a matter of time until this catches up with them and honestly, Game 5 was an example of that. The Sixers ended up losing by three points. Even if he hit just three or four more of his free throws, they could’ve still had a chance to win this game.
While Doc Rivers continually praises Simmons for the work he does off the ball, one would have to think that if the Sixers fall short this season, he could potentially be traded. Sure, Ben Simmons is a great defender and a solid rebounder and passer. But, he literally cannot shoot the ball or score at a consistent rate. He’s long been criticized for this, but it’s coming to light in the playoffs.
There’s definitely a mental block within his head right now when it comes to shooting from the line. It’s something that Simmons clearly isn’t going to figure out overnight and is bound to be costly for Philly.
Ben Simmons is clearly not the complimentary star to Joel Embiid. The Sixers need to look elsewhere and actually find a player who can step up when it matters. It’s been four years of this and after Wednesday’s dreadful night, the Philadelphia fans have seen enough. It’s time to move on.