The End of the Process: What Should the 76ers do with Ben Simmons?
The Philadelphia 76ers were eliminated in the second round of the NBA Playoffs by the Atlanta Hawks. The elimination comes as a huge surprise given that the 76ers were the 1-seed and had a relatively easy path to the NBA Finals. The 76ers’ collapse in the last two games of the series shocked many. The aftermath of their disastrous end quickly followed. Many fans and analysts point to all-star point guard, Ben Simmons as the main source of their collapse. Many are disappointed that Simmons disappeared as the series wore on.
“The Process” is officially over. The 76ers must make drastic changes. Simmons is at the center of the 76ers’ summer plans.
What Should the 76ers do with Ben Simmons?
Ben Simmons’ Series Recap
Simmons had a solid start in the series against the Hawks. Game one, he finished with 17 points, 10 assists and four steals. As the series wore on, his play dropped dramatically. Game two, Simmons only attempted three shots, finishing with a mere four points. Game three, he scored a series-high 18 points, making 7 out of 11 shots. In the following game, Simmons finished with just 11 points but nearly had a triple-double.
Games 5-7 are the games everyone is targeting in their critique of Simmons. In that three-game stretch, he shot the ball only 14 times, averaging just 6.3 points per game. The most haunting stats is Simmons did not have a shot attempt in the fourth quarter in four straight games.
What is the Problem?
Simmons is far from a great shooter. That is the realization the 76ers lived with. The question is: Why doesn’t he try to shoot? During game seven, Simmons gave up an easy lay-up attempt and passed the ball to Matisse Thybulle. That moment became the microcosm of Simmons’ playing style.
So far in his career, Simmons has shied away from attempting mid to long-range shots. Confidence could be a factor. He might not be comfortable with shooting in big games. In the post-game seven interviews, Simmons said he was not feeling like himself offensively.
Coaching could be another factor. Over Simmons’ tenure with the 76ers, the teams coaching and training staff has come under fire.
Trade Ben Simmons
The 76ers must shuffle their roster. Currently, they have good pieces. Simmons is the centerpiece of their possible player movement. All signs point to them trading Simmons. His lack of progress led to their downfall. Simmons may lack the competitive nature it takes to take the Sixers to the next level. The 76ers need a guard who will score while running the show offensively.
Simmons is still a very good player. But, he and the 76ers might not be a good match. The problem will be attracting a suitor. A few rebuilding teams that could push for him are the Houston Rockets, Toronto Raptors, and the Minnesota Timberwolves. Those teams will allow Simmons to be lowkey. It is hard to picture a contending team trading for him.
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