Ben Simmons took a lot of heat during and after the Philadelphia 76ers‘ Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks last night. But video shows that Simmons’ teammate Joel Embiid was especially upset by one specific blunder.
With 3:29 remaining in the game, Atlanta led 88-86. Simmons had the ball in the paint and was positioned to dunk or at least layup the ball for a game-tying scoring. Instead, he passed the ball under the net, where it was quickly blocked by the Hawks.
NBA fans were baffled by Simmons’ decision-making there, and Joel Embiid was too. Video shows him throwing his arms in frustration and looking away from Simmons.
When the 76ers set up at the foul line, Simmons walked over to Embiid, who half-heartedly gave him a low five before walking away. The frustration he was feeling was obvious, even without seeing his face clearly.
here is Joel Embiid’s reaction when Ben Simmons passed up the wide open dunk pic.twitter.com/lrfdYiYpkv
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) June 21, 2021
It was one play, but it ultimately loomed very large in their 103-96 loss to the Hawks.
For the third time in four years, the 76ers have been eliminated in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. And for the second time in three years, that defeat came in a Game 7.
Frustrations with Ben Simmons is already boiling over in Philadelphia. Whether that results in any front office moves remains to be seen.
But clearly some kind of big change is needed. The Philadelphia 76ers cannot keep underachieving in the playoffs and keep Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid together.