‘Not All About Shooting’: Former NBA All-Star Believes Ben Simmons Will Make a Strong Comeback

Published 07/10/2021, 8:30 AM EDT
Apr 26, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) saves a ball headed out of bounds during the first quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports | Courtesy: Reuters


The past month has been a real-time struggle for Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons. There have been many reasons attributed to the star guard’s underperformance. And the missed opportunities have escalated to a level wherein teammates and others have started doubting his abilities as a key player.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Simmons has always been acknowledged for his playmaking skills, defensive niche, and the talent he brings to the 76ers roster. But things went down south the day he refrained from making a shot against the Atlanta Hawks in ECF series.

The passed on dunk was a nightmare for Philadelphia fans

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

It was Game 7, and the stakes were high on the matchup between Hawks and Sixers. The intense battle between the two teams was one of the best of this postseason. However, the 76ers just gave it away in the decider match losing 103-96 to Trae Young’s army. And the only man to face the brunt of it was Ben Simmons.

Jun 20, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Seth Curry (31) shoots the ball against the Atlanta Hawks during the second quarter of game seven of the second round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Less than four minutes to the game buzzer, Hawks’ Danilo Gallinari took on Simmons on his play. Despite an easy chance for a dunk in progress, the Sixers’ All-star passed the ball to teammate Matisse Thybulle. That’s when the criticism flowed in for Simmons. From numerous Twitter reactions to star teammate Joel Embiid calling it a ‘turning point’ in the Sixers’ fate, Ben Simmons came down as an incapable shooter for half of the league.

Ambidexterity may play well for Sixers’ Ben Simmons

Former NBA player Fat Lever pondered on Simmons’ fall this season with Scoop B. Lever seems to believe in his comeback, if Simmons makes an effort on himself this summer. And the aim seems to be building upon Simmons’ ambidextrous powers.

He further added on the show – “It’s (ambidexterity) natural right now but as the summer goes along and he progresses working with the development guys, they’re gonna make sure that he’s gonna get the help he needs to be that player that everyone expects him to be.”

DIVE DEEPER

Is Trae Young Better Than a 22-Year-Old Steph Curry? NBA Stats Provide Intriguing Details

18 days ago

Jun 18, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) works against Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) during the first quarter in game six in the second round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Fat Lever says Simmons cannot be afraid of shooting

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Adding to what the improvement factors could be, Lever addressed Simmons’ risk-taking issues. “It’s not all about shooting, you can do other things to keep yourself in the game. But you can’t pass up a dunk because you’re afraid to go to the free-throw line. I don’t care if you’re shooting 50% from the free-throw line or 90%. If you’re in the game, you better be able to take that chance.”

Simmons, who averaged 13 points and 5.5 assists vs Hawks, has been in the face of criticism these days. Many believe this incident to be an eye-opener, while others are confident that it’s a short-lived patch in his career. What are your thoughts on this?

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

WATCH THIS STORY: Atlanta Hawks vs Philadelphia 76ers Game 7 ECSF Highlights

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Pavni Ahuja

432 articles

Pavni Ahuja is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Housing a keen interest in sports journalism, she is pursuing an undergraduate Journalism degree from Christ University. Pavni is an ardent fan of the NBA, with prior district-level playing experience in basketball.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT