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Gary Payton Names The Big Problem With Ben Simmons

Gary Payton yelling at a referee.

SEATTLE - OCTOBER 30: Gary Payton #20 of the Seattle Sonics argues with referee Derrick Stafford during the game against the Phoenix Suns at Key Arena on October 30, 2002 in Seattle, Washington. The Sonics won 86-73. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Tonight, the Philadelphia 76ers take on the Atlanta Hawks in a crucial Game 5 matchup. If the Sixers want to take a 3-2 lead in the series, star point guard Ben Simmons will need to step his game up.

So far this series, Simmons has averaged a solid 12.5 points and 8.3 assists per game -- a strong complement to 76ers superstar center Joel Embiid.

While Simmons' postseason performance has been passable so far, former NBA point guard Gary Payton believes he needs to push himself to improve.

During an appearance on The Colin Cowherd Podcast , "The Glove" said Simmons has become complacent in only focusing on the things that he does well.

Payton implored the Philly PG to work on his free throw shooting.

"I think what Ben Simmons' problem is that he's so good and he does stuff so well and nobody stops him -- he doesn't think that he has to change," Payton said. "He has to work on his free throw shooting. That's it... I think that it's disrespectful to play the Shaq-a-Hack against him. I think he should take that personal and I think that he should go and work on it -- and punish people every time they do that."

Through the regular season this year, Simmons posted a lackluster 61.3% shooting from the free-throw line. In the playoffs, that percentage has significantly dropped -- currently averaging 34% from the line. As a result of his abysmal shooting, teams have elected to play the odds and utilize the "Hack-a-Simmons" technique in late-game situations.

With just a few minutes remaining in the first half of Game 5, Simmons has three points, five assists and two rebounds.

The Sixers lead the Hawks by 24 with a 56-32 score.