Ben Simmons has shouldered the blame on himself following the Philadelphia 76ers exit in seven games to the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA Eastern Conference semi-finals.
The Australian shot 15/45 (33%) on free throws against the Hawks and 34.2% from the line for the playoffs overall, accounting for the worst foul shooting percentage in NBA post-season history for a player with at least 70 attempts, according to research conducted by ESPN Stats & Information.
While Simmons foul shooting and subsequent exit was disappointing for Sixers fans, what will cheer them up is right now you can receive Ladbrokes free bets and enjoy the welcome offers that you can get when signing up.
“I ain’t shoot well from the line this series,” Simmons said following the Sixers’ 103-96 Game 7 loss to Atlanta. “Offensively, I wasn’t there. I didn’t do enough for my teammates. … There’s a lot of things that I need to work on.”
He was particularly unreliable towards the end of the games, not attempting a single shot in the fourth period in five of the seven games played, which came with his troubles at the free throw line.
But as a team overall, Philadelphia fans will – and have – seen this as a blown opportunity. The Sixers let a 2-1 series lead fall out of their grasp by failing to protect an 18-point lead in Game 4 and an even bigger 26-point advantage in Game 5.
Philadelphia then lost game the deciding Game 7 at the Wells Fargo Center, where the team had held the best home record in the league over the past two seasons.
“Man, I will be honest. I thought the turning point was, you know, when we, I don’t know how to say it, but I thought the turning point was just we had an open shot and we made one free throw and we missed the other and they came down and scored,” Embiid said.
The sequence Embiid was referring to came with 3:29 remaining when Simmons posted up Danilo Gallinari, spun to the basket and rather than going up for a open score, strangely passed the ball to a surprised Matisse Thybulle, who was fouled on a layup attempt, with the Sixers down 88-86.
Thybulle split his free throws, allowing the Hawks to score on their next possession.
“I just assumed Gallo was coming up on my back,” Simmons explained. “And then [John] Collins moved out [of the lane], so I thought we just had a wide-open dunk.”
Simmons admitted that after this loss, the off-season will be about hard work and knowing that there is a mental hurdle he has to overcome.
“The first thing I’m going to do is clear my mind and get my mental right,” he said. “You got to be mentally tough. You can’t take games for granted. Especially in the playoffs. Every game matters. Every possession matters.”