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Sixers’ Dwight Howard calls out Ben Simmons haters

Sixers, Dwight Howard, Ben Simmons

Philadelphia 76ers center Dwight Howard chastised the legions of NBA fans criticizing Sixers guard Ben Simmons amid his playoff struggles.

Howard suggested Sixers fans (and others) should leave Simmons be and show more appreciation for his talents:

“Everybody talking about Ben. Leave him alone,” Howard said, via Sideline Sources. “Send him some positivity instead of talking about how bad you think he is. Ain’t none of you played in the NBA… Sit y’all butts down.”

Simmons has been criticized for his passivity on the offensive end of the floor. The Sixers guard is averaging just 8.5 field goal attempts per game during these playoffs, over a full attempt fewer than he averaged last season.

Philadelphia has desperately needed late-game offensive heroics especially with Joel Embiid still nursing a meniscus injury. Simmons and Tobias Harris have struggled to provide that offense in crunch time, and the Atlanta Hawks have capitalized.

The Hawks overcame a 26-point deficit to beat the Sixers in Game 5 and take a 3-2 lead in the conference semifinals. Atlanta outscored Philadelphia 40-19 in the final period to stun the crowd at the Wells Fargo Center.

It isn’t just that Simmons has not looked for his own shot. He is also struggling tremendously from the free-throw line. Simmons shot 4-for-14 from the charity stripe in Game 5 and is shooting a woeful 32.8 percent from the line during the playoffs.

Despite Simmons’ struggles, Howard wants Sixers fans to uplift their star guard as Philadelphia prepares for a must-win Game 6 on Friday night. Who knows, maybe Simmons will have a redemption game and push the Sixers to a Game 7.