It’s time to break up the Embiid, Simmons duo
After notching the best record in the East this season, the Philadelphia 76ers were pegged as favorites to reach at least the conference Finals. But of course, that never turned to reality, after the Atlanta Hawks eliminated them in seven games in the semis.
Anyway, there seems to be some trouble brewing in paradise in the City of Brotherly the moment.
After Game 7, a clearly disgruntled Joel Embiid vented his ire and pointed out the exact play that led to that stinging defeat.
To sum it up, he be basically threw his fellow All-Star Ben Simmons under the bus
"I thought the turning point was when we—I don't know how to say it—but I thought the turning point was just we had an open shot and we made one free throw and we missed the other and then they came down and scored,” JoJo told reporters.
To jog your memory, here’s the brain fart Simmons committed in the crucial juncture of the match. With under four minutes left in regulation, the Australian playmaker looked like he had a wide-open dunk or lay-up after getting past Danilo Gallinari.
But for some unthinkable reason, Simmons was gun-shy and opted to pass the ball instead. We know about Simmons’ troubles from long range but passing up an easy point-blank look like that is just unthinkable.
It’s not just that either, to say that Ben Simmons was underwhelming throughout this entire series would be a HUGE understatement. He was just terrible. It looked like his confidence was gone. He still collected rebounds and assists at a high rate but he failed to score more than 10 points in the final three games.
That’s not going to cut it at this stage. That’s absurd, especially coming for your supposed second-best player.
So, the burning question is -- is Ben Simmons worth keeping around anymore?
Sure, having 6-foot-10 point guard opens up a lot of mismatches, but in this day and age, having a guy who can’t shoot is just a major liability. We can forgive his lack of a 3-point shot. But that putrid free throw percentage? That just inexcusable.
Simmons only made 34.2% of his free throws in the playoffs – the worst by a player in a minimum of 70 tries.
To be fair, the Sixers did think about trading Simmons back in January when James Harden was available. They decided not to pull the trigger, and Ben actually played great since then. He made it to his third All-Star team and was a runner-up for DPOY.
But with the way he played in this postseason, it’s clear that the Sixers will be better off moving on from him. For sure, there will still be a lot of takers for the 24-year-old this summer.
So, do you think the Sixers should trade Ben Simmons this offseason? Or do you still believe that the Embiid-Simmons tandem can still work?