Philadelphia 76ers' Ben Simmons is deadly from the paint.
Philadelphia 76ers' Ben Simmons is deadly from the paint.

‘Concerning’ issue plauging Aussie star

AUSSIE NBA star Ben Simmons has long been targeted over his failure to shoot, even when his coach explicitly asks for it but a new issue appears to be emerging, if fans are to be believed.

As Simmons' Philadelphia 76ers ended a two-game slide with a 117-106 victory over the Brooklyn Nets at home, which takes their season record at home to 19-2, and takes the side to 26-16 for the year.

But Philly sports fans are some of the most passionate and demanding in the US and despite Simmons' 20 point, six rebound and 11 assist game, they want more out of the 23-year-old.

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What's more incredible, Simmons also played his 200th career game, becoming just the third player in NBA history alongside Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson to post 3000 points, 1500 rebounds and 1500 assists.

But despite passing 20 points for the second consecutive game - something he'd only done one other time in 2019/20 - Simmons has been clipped over his disappearance with the game on the line.

Fans have long been calling for Simmons to take the game by the scruff of the neck when they need to but for the second straight game, the Aussie has been unable to deliver.

Earlier in the week in the 101-95 loss to the Indiana Pacers, Simmons had 20 points, nine rebounds and three assists in a monster first half, but finished the game with 24-14-3 overall as he largely went missing as an offensive weapon after the half-time break.

Ben Simmons put in another first half masterclass.
Ben Simmons put in another first half masterclass.

Against the Nets, he went better than Tuesday's (AEST) performance but still only managed five points, four rebounds and eight assists after half-time.

In the fourth quarter, he had no points, with the three rebounds and five assists as he switched to orchestrating the offence, assisting in both Furkan Korkmaz key three-pointers which gave the 76ers the lead early in the fourth quarter for the first time since late in the first.

Korkmaz heaped praise on Simmons post match.

"Especially when you run the play with the Ben, that creates a lot of confusion for defence, they don't know how to guard," the Turkish star said.

"On that play, it's all about the Ben you know because he takes all the responsibility on the play and then he just creates it for me. At the end of the day you make the shot you look good, when you miss, you look bad. When you play with the Ben, the game is more easier for you."

But it didn't stop unsatisfied fans from sticking the boot in.




Others came to Simmons' defence however.

ESPN commentator Dave Pasch was in the latter category.

"There's not many guys that can impact a game without even taking a shot like Ben Simmons has here in the fourth quarter," he said.

The same old issue of failing to shoot reared its head again as well with the Nets defenders giving Simmons plenty of room.

No pressure there at all Ben.
No pressure there at all Ben.

It's not an uncommon sight in 76ers games but after only utilising it to make two three-pointers this season - and not even attempting another since coach Brett Brown said he wanted one shot from beyond the arc per game.

The lack of a jump shot has led to frustration with even superstar teammate Joel Embiid taking a swipe at Simmons, while six-time NBA champion Scottie Pippen declared "This is a grown man shot, this is a mature shot and he's not ready".






But while Simmons continues to dazzle in the paint with his silky skills, the internet can't ever forgive a horror blunder.

And in his 200th game, a game that appeared to have everything else, a third-quarter missed dunk was just what social media wanted.




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