The Sixers finished at table top of EC with an impressive 49-23 record. If anything, at least their conference final berth was a surety after that dominant regular season show. But the reality hit and the playoff pressure exposed their underlying flaws. Ben Simmons became the poster face behind their shocking elimination in Round 2 and that too against a #5 seed.
That an MVP front runner could not save the Sixers from early upset had everything to do with Ben’s failure. It was as if the Peacemaker was functioning under tremendous pressure even against a home crowd of Philly. So what’s next for the much-needed reincarnation of the star?
The Sixers point guard might need a ‘hand of God’
Ben Simmons has never been a very effective free throw shooter but he hit a new low in the playoffs 2021. The star registered a league worst (on 70+ attempts) postseason FT% of a shameful 34.2. That was him missing two of every three FT attempts and that cost the Sixers some crucial points.
Now, the news is out that the Melbourne native might consider switching his dominant hand to regain the lost momentum. As tough as it sounds, the man will have to challenge his muscle memory and use body mechanics to the optimum level in order to pull something like that.
“One of the things I’ve been told is on the table, hasn’t been decided but is on the table, is examining whether he changes his dominant shooting hand from left to right.”
– Brian Windhorst on Ben Simmons.
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) June 21, 2021
In their respective post-game conferences, both Doc Rivers and Joel Embiid looked disappointed in Ben. Hence, it becomes important for him to try something new and come back stronger than ever.
Arguably, Ben must be happy that he did not win DPOY because his postseason performance would reflect poorly on the accolade.
Ben Simmons and his comeback diaries
The 24-YO Ben came to Philadelphia in 2016 as a promising talent. His rookie year was washed out because of a foot injury but the youngster made a solid comeback in 2017-18 with a season average close to 16 ppg. Two years later, he was a regular name on the All-Star list and also became the 2019-20 Steal Champion. With that resume, the hopes were high that he’d do even better with a much stronger squad of 2020-21. But that was far from the reality.
The Big Ben averaged a career-low 14.3 points in regular season and followed it by a dismal playoff performance. As a result, now the Australian will miss out on playing in what could have been his debut in the Summer Olympics.
Ben Simmons is doubtful to play for Australia in Tokyo Olympics, sources said. Will spend offseason working on skill development. Aussies scheduled to begin training this week in L.A.
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) June 21, 2021
But that looks like a very wise decision given the star is running out of luck. The Aussies would not want to pit him against the likes of Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Devin Booker, and other legends to further dampen his confidence.
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