It has been less than a week since the 76ers were eliminated from the NBA playoffs. The headlines of this defeat are Ben Simmons’ offensive flaws and the way they were amplified in the playoffs.
Talking about Simmons’s future in Philadelphia is suffocating and exaggerated, an endless loop of value evaluation, screaming for the trade, but somehow unable to produce a possible trade, making the 76ers a more important title contender next season .
After the 76ers lost Game 7 to the Eagles, we immediately heard Charles Barkley say Simmons was “scared to death” shot. Shaquille O’Neal said he Will “knock him down” If they become teammates after a playoff performance like Simmons.
Add former Chicago Bulls great Scottie Pippen to the roster of old guards who are critical of Simmons, albeit with some nuances.Pippen, who has won six NBA championships, talked about a wide range of basketball topics in an interview. GQ MagazineHis comments on Simmons put his courage into question, and he also accused 76ers coach Rivers of not having his struggling star sit on the bench at a critical moment:
…You have been following Ben Simmons for five years? You can also say to Stephen A. Smith: You all know that he can’t shoot. You all know that he doesn’t want to shoot in the fourth quarter. You know he is afraid of going to the free throw line and he doesn’t want to be humiliated, so what do you ask me? I am not against Ben Simmons. But I think he is him.
I watched a lot of Doc games [Rivers] Shouldn’t let him in the fourth quarter. If I give you a deck of cards, I give you a pair of hearts and a pair of diamonds, and we play spades, why do you draw those cards when you know that you will lose in that category? This kid has always been like this, and Doc brings him in and prepares to fail him. He is like this! You all know he is like this. Doc kept letting him play, and he kept letting that team foul him. Take him out to play! The Lakers did it with O’Neal, who is bigger, more dominant, and possibly more fearless than Ben Simmons. Doc made him a loser.
He is still an excellent basketball player. This is his weakness: shooting. If you take this away from Ben Simmons, he has no weakness. This is also the weakness of Giannis. However, Giannis didn’t mind being humiliated. This is the difference between him and Ben Simmons. Giannis will go to the free throw line and throw two damn balloons, and next time he will go straight down the court and try to dunk on you. If Ben Simmons misses a free throw, he will start passing before reaching the free throw line at the other end. He didn’t even want to take the basketball across the half court because he was afraid of being humiliated at the free throw line. This is why he didn’t try to dunk at the end of the game. He’s been doing this all year, brother. [GQ]
In his final post-match press conference, Simmons said that his top priority this offseason is to solve his mental problems. Rivers mentioned that Simmons’ personal problems off the court were a compounding factor in his playoff performance, not to mention a chorus of severe criticism for Simmons for most of his career. Most of them are well-deserved, but most of them are also tired of the cruelty of no filter-Simmons’s zealous demeanor at the age of 24 made things easier.
Pippen’s argument is very simple, but it’s hard to understand how Simmons believes that avoiding the pain of offensive growth is less shameful than trying and failing. The stunning highlights of Simmons’ rookie season showed that he shot and made many jumpers that he hadn’t tried at this stage of his career. Even if the shot is not beautiful, he looks like a completely different player here.
There is no worse public humiliation than Simmons has endured since Sunday. And it is likely to continue until this offseason to reach some decisions on whether he will return to Philadelphia or be traded elsewhere.
Fans and NBA critics rightly blame Simmons, because he risked losing in important games year after year and was unwilling to get better offensively. Only Simmons can explain why he allowed this to happen, whether it’s praise for his defense, All-Star appearances, or a maximum salary contract that makes him happy with his progress in the NBA. It may be as simple as Simmons not believing in himself, or telling himself that giving scoring opportunities to more capable players is a better way to demonstrate high basketball IQ in almost all offensive groups except fast breaks.
But if Simmons’ real fear is really humiliation, then he has reached the tipping point where his swagger and image cannot be offset. He might be surprised that he didn’t get here because of a large number of jumpers, but he is here-this is the 22nd of his passivity as a scorer. In the coming seasons, attempts and complete failures are always more encouraged than the hiding he makes at important moments when the team needs help. This kind of concealment always leads to more humiliation than being a bad shooter who throws at least the wrong ball.
At some point, whether in the 76ers or other teams, Simmons may turn around.
But until he learns how to use the ball to make himself a threat at high-risk moments, until he finds a set of offensive tools and positions on the court suitable for him to use his size and athletic ability, the humiliation will always be in that corner or on the free throw line. .
As Pippen pointed out, the worst part is that we are really discussing Simmons’s only obvious weakness-a fatal weakness that came to the playoffs.
Looking at an athlete like Simmons, it’s hard to understand why he can’t meaningfully improve this for himself, his teammates and his reputation. This is obviously not a lack of resources and support.