What’s next for Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and the 76ers?

Ben Simmons 2021 playoffs

The collapse in Philly against the Hawks will have some serious repercussions.

So many things went wrong, but so much of the problem revolves around Ben Simmons and his inability (or unwillingness) to generate offense. For a player making $30 million per year, this is a serious problem.

Everyone sees the problem:

Everyone on the court knew it. Game 7s are when legends are made. This one made Simmons into the opposite of that. He was the anti-Jordan, the anti-Durant, a player so uncomfortable in the moment that he couldn’t even bring himself to try. For four quarters, Simmons exuded a fear that infected everyone in its radius. He attempted just four shots from the field, didn’t even look to attack. It sucked the life out of the crowd. It sucked the life out of his teammates. It sucked the benefit of the doubt right out of his coach.

Simmons can’t shoot free throws. He had the lowest free-throw percentage in the history of the NBA playoffs. You literally can’t play him late in a close game. He won’t shoot in the fourth quarter. So you have a guard that won’t contribute to your offense in crunch time. He plays great defense and he can distribute the ball, but defenses have zero respect for his shot, so he doesn’t add spacing to your offense. He makes it worse.

Should the 76ers trade him? Can Doc Rivers salvage him as a player? Rivers made it pretty clear after the game that he didn’t know if Simmons could be the guy. The situation is a mess, and the braintrust in Philly needs to get creative.

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Top 2011 recruit Rivers commits to Duke [video]

Austin Rivers (Doc Rivers’ son) has committed to play for Coach K at Duke. Here’s a look:

Doc Rivers will coach next season


Doc Rivers says he’s returning to coach the Boston Celtics for a seventh season, according to Boston-area media reports.

“I’m coming back,” he said in a text message, The Boston Globe reported. “I want another crack at it with this group.”

Good for him.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Glen Davis and Nate Robinson’s funny postgame interview [video]

Want to know how it feels when you’re a reserve and you have a direct impact on the outcome of Game 4 of the NBA Finals? Watch this video of Nate Robinson and Glen Davis. They don’t hold anything back…

There is definitely a different mindset as a starter versus a reserve. As a starter, you expect to be in the game at crunch time and are prepared to play with the game on the line. There will be games where you decide the outcome.

As a reserve, you go in and do your thing, but you’re usually pulled with five or six minutes remaining (or earlier) because the coach wants to get his starters back in. Doc Rivers made the decision to let a unit that featured four bench players continue to play deep into the fourth quarter because they were performing so well. Both Davis and Robinson admitted that they kept looking at the clock wondering when they were going to get pulled.

The Finals, Game 4: The C’s bounce back

Celtics 96, Lakers 89

I have to hand it to Doc Rivers. How many coaches would have had the balls to play a lineup that included Nate Robinson, Tony Allen, Rasheed Wallace and Glen Davis deep into the fourth quarter of a tight, must-win game against the Lakers? Ray Allen was the fifth Celtic on the floor, and at times he looked a little like Kelly Leak playing with the Bad News Bears.

That group started the fourth quarter, trailing 62-60, and slowly but surely built an 85-74 lead with 3:57 to play. There were points that Rivers sent Garnett/Pierce/Rondo to the scorer’s table only to pull them back to the bench after the aforementioned fivesome made a nice play to continue its run. This is not something we see often in the NBA because most coaches are afraid of their stars, but these Celtics don’t mind riding the wave with the bench when they are outplaying the other team’s starters. Ubuntu.

When Garnett/Pierce/Rondo did re-enter the game, Mark Jackson was concerned about their readiness to shoot when open, but these guys are pros (not to mention champions), and they answered the call. Well, Paul Pierce (19-6-5) answered the call. He scored five quick points, including a very suspect three-point play where he drew a block on Kobe. It looked as if Kobe got his feet set outside of the circle before Pierce left his feet, but the call went Pierce’s way. That’s why there’s such a thing as home court advantage.

With their backs to the wall, the C’s did what they needed to do in Game 4. Now they have to prevail in another must-win game to put the pressure back on the Lakers as the series heads back to L.A.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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