What’s next for Ben Simmons in Philadelphia?
“Process This,” read the Philadelphia Daily News ‘front page on Monday morning, as Sixers fans tried to figure out some of Simmons’ shortcomings in this series. Simmons has scored under 10 points in four of the seven games and shot 33 percent from the foul line. Simmons owes $ 140.4 million over the next four seasons.
“The first thing I’m going to do is clear my mind and have a good mind,” Simmons said. “You have to be strong mentally. You can’t take games for granted, especially in the playoffs. Every game counts. Every possession counts.”
No kidding. Still, Simmons’ team had a 2-1 lead in the series and an 18-point lead in Game 4 and a 26-point lead in Game 5. And they lost. Game 4. Game 5. And the series in 7.
There wasn’t the best team, and now we’re going to find out if the basketball public has an appetite for an Atlanta Hawks-Milwaukee Bucks game in the Eastern Conference Finals, which should end to all the discussions on the league in favor of popular teams from major markets. The Lakers are not the Los Angeles team that stands. The Brooklyn Nets also came out last weekend despite Kevin Durant’s Herculean efforts pretty much every time on the floor except for the last possession of the season when he threw a potential three-point attempt. winner with 0.3 seconds to go. Boston is long gone. Same thing with Dallas, Denver and Miami.
What does Brooklyn do next? And what does Philly do next?
These are the questions we’ll analyze, heading into the NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday night, and it will likely continue until the announcement of the Eastern Finals in Milwaukee on Wednesday night. Monday will be the league’s first night without a playoff playoff game.
Sixers fans will begin to tour the league to determine what salary is close to Simmons’ $ 33 million for the upcoming season, claiming they are Morey. Acquiring Seth Curry from Dallas was a good thing, as was adding Dwight Howard to minimum wage and writing Tyrese Maxey.
But mid-season acquisition George Hill averaged just one basket per game, and Rivers had no reliable bench option. Does that mean the Sixers will be looking to move Simmons for players whose salaries add up to what he earns? Or will Morey try to do what he did when James Harden was available in Houston, making Simmons available for a point guard earning a similar salary? All we know is Morey will try to flip every stone he can find, and the guy sort of used to be really good at changing on the fly.
Rivers said Simmons is going to have to work out in the gym to get over this, and only Simmons and his close associates will know if he’ll start doing it anytime soon. He looked scared on Sunday, which is scary for a triple All-Star when you think about it.
Mental toughness cannot be quantified with statistics. It’s something you can discern from four years of work, a deer facial expression in the headlights, and a bunch of teammates who haven’t really supported afterwards.
This list begins with Joel Embiid, whose bewilderment over many of Simmons’ decisions was written all over his face. He clearly had a championship or bust mentality throughout the playoffs, but a locked-in “superstar” isn’t enough. Philly needs either a much improved Simmons or a replacement.
Today we can probably all agree that it is more likely the latter.