Ben Simmons, Dr. Rivers solved the 76ers star’s free throw struggle

In the 2021 NBA playoffs, Ben Simmons made a terrible 34% free throw percentage in Game 5 on Wednesday—and then the number got worse.

The 76ers star made 4 of 14 free throws in Philadelphia’s 109-106 loss to the Eagles. In the Eastern Conference semifinals, his shooting percentage dropped to 30.8%, and his shooting percentage in the playoffs was 30.8%. Reduced to 32.8%. Among players with at least 50 shots in a single playoff game, this is the second-worst free throw percentage. For StatMuse, Only Ben Wallace fell under Simmons in 2006 (27.3).

more: Breaking the 76ers’ fifth crash against the Eagles

When asked about his shooting struggles after the fifth game, Simmons scored 8 points, 9 assists and 4 rebounds in 38 minutes. He told reporters that they were more mental than physical. Up. He doesn’t seem to know why he went from over 60% in the regular season to 30% in the playoffs.

“I don’t know, but I need to get it back,” Simmons says. “On my body.”

Simmons’ struggle on the free throw line is just Part of the cruel collapse This pushed the 76ers to the brink of elimination. After trailing by as many as 26 points, Atlanta took the lead in the second half and defeated Philadelphia 40-19 in the fourth quarter, leading the series by 3-2. Simmons didn’t make much contribution in the final game, and once, because of the “hacking” strategy adopted by the Hawks, Simmons was placed on the line instead of letting the 76ers run their offense.

“You play for a few minutes without Ben, right, in the game? I think we are ready, we are ready to do this,” Philadelphia coach Rivers said“Obviously, we did it again tonight. You think this is a better question, and the answer is no. When Ben made them, we can keep him in. If he doesn’t, we cannot. That’s how it is.”

Regardless of the source of his problem, Simmons knows that the only way he can ensure that he stays on the court is to increase his free throw percentage.

“Obviously, I have to knock down the free throw and step up and do it,” Simmons said. “This is the coach’s decision, you know.”

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