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Dwight Howard Has Strong Message For Those Criticizing Ben Simmons

A closeup of Ben Simmons.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - JANUARY 17: Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers watches the action against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on January 17, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Philadelphia 76ers forward Ben Simmons has taken a ton of heat for his performance in their Game 5 loss to the Atlanta Hawks. But 76ers center Dwight Howard has a message for Simmons' critics.

In a recent video he posted, the eight-time NBA All-Star came to the defense of his embattled teammate. Howard called on people to send Simmons "some positivity" rather than barrage him with negative comments.

"Everybody talking about Ben. Leave him alone," Howard said. "Send him some positivity instead of talking about how bad you think he is. Ain't none of you played in the NBA... sit y'all butts down..."

Ben Simmons had eight points and went 4-of-14 from the free throw line in the 76ers 109-106 loss to the Hawks in Game 5. Some of his comments afterwards led prominent pundits to dismiss Simmons as "a liability" for the 76ers moving forward.

The Philadelphia 76ers haven't needed Simmons to take over games in order to get wins this postseason. But they will need him to step up for the next two games.

Atlanta are clearly more than capable of breaking through the solid defense that the 76ers have. Simmons has to do more than play great defense if he wants to lead his team to the Conference Finals.

Fortunately, Simmons has the support of his teammates - some of whom have shown that they can pick up the slack.

With tipoff only a few hours away, Simmons needs to overcome his current issues in short order.