How could the Sixers, after a tremendous season which saw its star player vault into the best-player-in-the-league conversation while it secured the Eastern Conference’s number 1 seed and the easiest path to the Conference Finals in recent history, peter out in such tremendous fashion?
The two gentlemen receiving most of the blame for yet another second round exit are head coach Doc Rivers and point guard Ben Simmons. In Game 1, the team’s nonsensical game plan for guarding Hawks star Trae Young was not only to check him with 33-year-old Danny Green, but to also deploy deep drop coverage for the Sixers’ bigs. There is plenty, in my opinion, that Simmons had within his control during his Sixers tenure which he could’ve kept from going awry, but the free throws clearly reached a point where Ben was so far in his head that it became impossible to correct or overcome in one series.
What has Ben ever done to retrofit his game around Joel?
During the season, Sixers fans seethed with anger at Dwight Howard for being an unseemly fit with Simmons, or at Rivers for playing the two of them together, or at Daryl Morey for failing to get a stretch big on the team.