The Philadelphia 76ers have been one of the NBA’s most disappointing teams this season. Two days after dropping their fifth straight game, the Sixers suffered a stunning injury when Ben Simmons tore his ACL. This was as devastating a blow to the team as the recent wave of injuries they’ve suffered to their starting lineup over the past month.

Philadelphia 76ers rookie Ben Simmons is having an outstanding rookie season, and is on pace to become the first rookie since the great Oscar Robertson to average a triple-double for a season. But, what’s Simmons’ secret? Is there something he’s doing that we don’t know about yet? Join Ben’s “coach” on a journey to find out what’s behind Simmons’ success.

Don’t trust the process anymore. Start trusting your own eyes. Ben Simmons has become an incredibly small point guard with the Philadelphia 76ers. He may be 6-foot-4 on the basketball court, but he’s zero point 10 on the bench. That’s where coach Doc Rivers parked Simmons when it mattered most, in Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Ben Simmons – Interfering in tie games

Doc Rivers on Ben Simmons’ free throws in the final moments of the game: Analytically, if you make all those free throws, you take one point per possession. He did. I had no problem with her. – Derek Bodner (@DerekBodnerNBA) June 1, 2021 In Game 6, the 76ers defeated the Atlanta Hawks 104-99. But they had to admit that Simmons became a block in the final minutes of the game. He’s never been a better free throw shooter, and in the NBA playoffs he fell in horror. The fouls played a role in the fact that Simmons only played 25 minutes on Friday, but that doesn’t explain what happened late in the game. Rivers was willing to take the risk of Simmons committing his sixth quad on the defensive end, but he wasn’t willing to let the first pick in the 2016 NBA Draft lead the offense on a court where the Hawks employ a hack-a-ben strategy. After Simmons missed his first nine free throws in the first round, the Washington Wizards were ready to take him down at any opportunity late in the game. He still suffers from the yips and hit just 33.8% from the line in the postseason. The Hawks went back to that strategy, and Rivers had to resort to turnovers in Game 6. Whenever possible late in the game, Rivers sent newcomer Tyrese Maxey onto the field on offense and replaced Simmons on defense.

Ben Simmons plays for the Philadelphia

word-image-11889 word-image-11890 Ben Simmons’ problems at the free throw line draw attention to his other offensive shortcomings. | Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images Simmons has a contract through 2025 with $140 million left to go. If the 76ers can’t solve Simmons’ problems – which go far beyond free throws – they’ll have to wait four long years or face the prospect of liquidation. Whatever the decision, the 76ers need to get a little more out of their point guard than excellent defense and the ability to make the right pass. Long before his free throws disappeared, opponents realized they didn’t have to worry about Simmons as a scoring threat on the perimeter. According to Yahoo! Sports, Simmons made four shot attempts from outside the restricted area against the Hawks. He hasn’t shot in the fourth quarter since the third game. Those are extreme numbers, but they’re not much different from his career stats. His average number of attempts per game has dropped every year and is 10.1 this season, and his career completion percentage of 56.0% is a mirage. The odds of Simmons hitting a 3-yard jump shot are as high as Bryson Deschambault and Brooks Kopeca trading Christmas cards. An NBA team that wants to be a champion can’t do without one.

A lot depends on the outcome of Game 7 for the 76ers

After Game 6, Simmons continued to tweet the meaning of the acronym, leading to an interesting scene for Game 7. A win against the Hawks would catapult the 76ers to the next series, the Eastern Conference Finals. A loss would likely send Simmons to the next team, if only general manager Daryl Morey can find a buyer willing to give him anything close to fair value. That’s the irony for Morey and Rivers. Taking the 76ers to the conference finals for the first time in 20 years may be enough to convince them to stay the course and keep Simmons. That’s understandable. The prospect of Simmons and Joel Embiid playing alongside each other for a decade or more was the reason 76ers fans could trust the process. For this to work, however, those same fans need to believe that the 76ers can fix Simmons’ four-year shortcomings in one season. Like Sportscasting on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter @sportscasting19 . COMPARED TO: Doc Rivers defends Ben Simmons for his poor shooting and mercilessly criticizes the city of Philadelphia

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