In the 76ers Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Eagles, Ben Simmons sometimes struggled, and Joel Embiid noticed.
Embiid discussed what he thought was a turning point Philadelphia 103-96 Game 7 loss Sunday night. From the center’s point of view, this was when Simmons gave up an open attempt near the basket at the end of the fourth quarter.
“I mean, I will tell the truth,” Embiid said, every Rich Hofmann of The Athletic“I think the turning point is us — I don’t know how to say — but I think the turning point is when we have open shots, we free throws once, we miss the other, and then they fall down to score.
“We didn’t get a good ball on the other end, Trey (Young) came back, he made a three-pointer, and then fell four points from there (45 seconds left). It was on me. I took the ball Turned over and tried to do something on the outside. But I think that was a turning point.”
Embiid may not have named Simmons, but it is clear that this is the game he is talking about.
Matisse Thyublle made two free throws after being fouled.
Simmons’ reluctance to layup is a major issue in the series. It seems that he is afraid of being fouled because his free throw percentage is 33.3%.
This led to games like Embiid mentioned. This also resulted in Simmons shooting only three goals in the fourth quarter throughout the series.
After averaging 12.5 points per game in the first four games, Simmons averaged only 6.3 points per game in the last three games.
He can be a good scorer, especially near the basket, so it’s easy to understand why Embiid is frustrated with this game.
He is not the only one who is frustrated. The same goes for 76ers coach Doc Rivers.
After the game, a reporter asked Rivers if Simmons could still become the point guard of the championship team. Rivers’ answer is by no means a resounding approval.
“I don’t know the answer now,” Rivers said.
Simmons, 24, is a top defender because of his height. The 6-11 Australian was selected to the NBA’s All-Defensive Team this season. But if he cannot improve his confidence as a scorer, his potential may be limited.
According to reports, the 76ers Hanging a parcel led by Simmons When Houston bought James Harden, he was in front of the Rockets, so if the team no longer believes in him, the 76ers can explore the Simmons market again in the offseason.
In any case, after another disappointing early exit from the playoffs, the situation in Philadelphia seems likely to change.