The Philadelphia 76ers are a mess and it is pretty evident by now as every news or rumours that come up regarding them are mostly negative. The Sixers were knocked out of the playoffs by the Atalanta Hawks last season and it left a long lasting impact on the team. They were clearly the favourites in that matchup but when Trae Young and his men progressed to the next round, fingers were pointed at the players and also at the franchise’s front office.
Point guard Ben Simmons had a below par series against the Hawks and therefore he bore the brunt of the loss from the Sixers fans. The fans ruthlessly went on criticizing and making fun of him even after weeks from that defeat and that shook him as he had requested a trade. But now there are claims that even Sixers talisman Joel Embiid is also another reason for Simmons to leave Philadelphia ahead of the next season.
The Australian point guard was tipped as a player with superstar potential and he did show a lot of promise. He was very good for the Sixers in the first round of the playoffs against the Washington Wizards and played an active role in their 4-1 win over Russell Westbrook and company.
But things turned south with the Hawks as they showed that they had the quality to challenge the top team in the East. Trae Young and his men won the first game of the series and that was a statement right there as they dragged the series to the seventh game and defeated them in the process.
Simmons failed to show at a time of crisis for the Sixers and his free throws weren’t any good either. Hence when they lost all the blame came upon Simmons. Even teammates Joel Embiid took shots at him after the game. There were rumours of a potential beef between the two players which Embiid went onto dismiss multiple times. However MNBA analyst Jay Williams does not buy that story. He recently took shots at the big center on ESPN’s KJZ, he said, “What it seems like to me that even though he wants to make it seem like there is no rift between him and Ben Simmons, he threw Ben Simmons under the bus. After they lost that game. In game 4, they had an 18 point lead. In game 5 they had a 26 point lead and in Game 7, they had 17 turnovers, Joel Embiid had 8.”
“I understand Ben Simmons didn’t play to the level we expected him to play. But yesterday he was a leader of the team that could go deep into the playoffs. Because that’s the count of accountability Joel Embiid needs to have.”
It will be interesting to see where Simmons ends up with plenty of NBA teams trying to figure out a deal. The Australian has immense talent and potential to be a big thing in the NBA.