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NBA playoffs 2021: The Philadelphia 76ers are running short on excuses after another early playoff exit



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In the remaining 33 games Simmons played after that performance, he averaged 13.6 points, 6.1 assists, 6.4 rebounds and shot 56.8% from the free throw line; numbers worthy of another All-Star nod but not equal to the dominance he showed in Salt Lake City that Monday night.

After the Game 4 loss to Washington, the team that famously put Simmons on the line 24 times in one quarter in 2017, Rivers used the postgame news conference as a bully pulpit to prop up his young star. “

In Games 4 and 5 against Atlanta, Simmons didn’t attempt a single field goal and had one assist in 16 minutes and 38 seconds of action in the fourth quarters of both games. After the Game 5 collapse, when Embiid and Curry were the only two 76ers players to record a field goal in the second half, Rivers could bury the Simmons free throw concerns only so deep.

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