Ben Simmons reached an all-time low with his showing in this year’s postseason. Between his struggles at the free-throw line and his hesitancy on offense, the Philadelphia 76ers point guard couldn’t deliver what his team needed in their second-round series against the Atlanta Hawks, which led to an early elimination.
Plenty of fans, media members and current players have tried to explain the reasons for Simmons’ collapse, but no one can seem to sum up what happened. Among those who might be able to provide the best context for the young player’s issues is his 76ers teammate, Danny Green.
Green, 34, just arrived in Philadelphia this season, but has long been a respected veteran voice around the league. He shared that Simmons had a difficult year on and off the court, which likely led to his up-and-down performance in the playoffs.
The 76ers veteran wing also explained that the 24-year-old needs encouragement and the right type of push in order to put on his best performance.
“I saw a kid that had been going through a lot the whole year. Mentally, emotionally, inside, outside, off the court with his family… I knew he was going through a lot,” Green said on his Inside The Green Room podcast, per Jack Connell. “You can tell Ben’s the type of kid if he’s not encouraged, if he’s not pushed or forced to do it, he’s not the type to take that risk…”
“…I think it was a plethora of things that made a domino effect for him to kind of go into his shell. At the same time, he still fought, he still showed up, he still played, he still worked hard, he still tried to give us our best chance to win… It was just offensively he wasn’t the Ben Simmons we needed him to be at the time.”
Danny Green on Ben Simmons:
“You can tell Ben’s the type of kid if he’s not encouraged, if he’s not pushed or forced to do it, he’s not the type to take that risk.” pic.twitter.com/5hx38nbVpB
— Jack Connell (@JackPConnell) June 27, 2021
Simmons averaged a career-low, 11.9 points per game in the playoffs this season. He also shot a dismal 34.2 percent from the free-throw line, on 6.1 attempts per contest, which proved to be a major problem for the 76ers down the stretch of close games.
The young point guard opted to take the summer to focus on “individual development”, rather than represent his native Australia in the Tokyo Olympics. While his future with the 76ers remains unclear, Simmons can only control what he can control.
For now, that means moving forward and trying to start anew next year.