Ben Simmons shoulders blame after Philadelphia 76ers’ second-round playoff exit: ‘Offensively, I wasn’t there’
He was particularly unreliable at the end of games, failing to attempt a single shot in the fourth quarter in five out of the seven games, with many believing the disappearing act came in direct correlation to his lack of confidence at the free throw line. Buy 25 Simmons NBA Jerseys,
After a series that will be remembered by Philadelphia fans as a blown opportunity — the Sixers squandered a 2-1 series lead by failing to protect an 18-point cushion in Game 4 and a 26-point advantage in Game 5 and then lost game Game 7 at the Wells Fargo Center, where the team had held the best home record in the league over the past two seasons — Joel Embiid said that he believed Simmons opting against taking what seemed to be an open opportunity under the basket in the fourth quarter Sunday ended up being the turning point in the loss Buy Philadelphia 76ers NBA Jerseys, .
“Man, I will be hones Discount NBA Nike Jerseys, t. I thought the turning point was, you know, 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 they came down and scored,” Embiid sa Cheap Stitched NBA Jerseys Free Shipping, id.
The sequence he was referring to came with 3:29 remaining when Simmons posted up Danilo Gallinari, eluded him with a spin move to get to the basket and rather than going up for a score himself, passed the ball to Matisse Thybulle, who was fouled on a layup attempt, with the Sixers down 88-86.
Thybulle went 1-for-2, and the Hawks reeled off a quick 5-0 spurt to go ahead 93-87 with 2:31 left.
“I just assumed Gallo was coming up on my back,” Simmons explained. “And then [John] Collins moved out [of the lane], so I thought we just had a wide-open dunk.”
Simmons, who will turn 25 next month and is owed $140.4 million over the next four seasons, admitted there is a mental hurdle he has to overcome.
“The first thing I’m going to do is clear my mind and get my mental right,” he said. “You got to be mentally tough. You can’t take games for granted. Especially in the playoffs. Every game matters. Every possession matters.”
Sixers coach Doc Rivers was asked a question postgame that cuts to the core of where Philadelphia stands as a franchise after a fourth straight season failing to make it past the second round with Simmons as a foundational piece: Can the 76ers expect to win a championship with him as their point guard?
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