Danny Green defends Sixers star Ben Simmons amid criticism after loss

The Philadelphia 76ers are still picking up the pieces following Sunday’s Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks at home where they missed out on a golden opportunity to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy. The Sixers went cold down the stretch and they were not able to get enough stops and it hurt their chances.

A lot of criticism has since been placed on All-Star Ben Simmons who once again came up small in a big situation. He had five points on only four shots in a win-or-go-home situation for his team and he even passed up a wide-open dunk there late. It was an unfortunate situation for Simmons and the team as a whole, but basketball is also a team game. It is not on just one guy.

“I know a lot of people are gonna be on Ben a lot,” said veteran Danny Green at exit interviews on Monday. “They’re going to harp on this whole thing about Ben and he’s my teammate, my brother. I understand things that he’s gone through this year alone, it’s been heavy for him, and rough, but it’s not just him. We all together win or lose.”

Simmons has definitely gone through a lot of adversity in the 2020-21 season. Whether it was being sick with a non-COVID related illness or it was some personal stuff he had to handle, that is a lot for anybody to have to go through and still have to perform on the floor.

“Ben has gone through quite a bit this year and it’s not his fault that we lost,” Green added. “Everybody’s gonna say ‘Oh, Ben could’ve done this’, if I made some shots in Game 1 for us, you could also say Shake (Milton), Furkan (Korkmaz), Matisse (Thybulle) as you go down the line, there’s so many mistakes that happened. You can’t just harp on one player.”

Green makes an excellent point about basketball being a team game, but on the flip side, Simmons is the one who is the All-Star leader. He has to continue to take steps forward if the Sixers want to get to the heights they plan on reaching. His offensive game is a liability at the moment.

“Ben’s gonna be fine and I also think it’s a mistake that people think that he doesn’t care,” Green continued. “I guess by his tone, his mannerisms, whatever it may be in a press conference, and by his actions, you can see it in his play that he cares. I think he might be a little afraid of certain things, but because of how his interviews go, he doesn’t show much, I guess emotions, but believe it or not, he cares. It hurts him more than anybody. He’s a bigger critic than anybody of himself and that hurts him deeply that he wasn’t able to be himself and help his team win.”

As the Sixers now head into the offseason, Simmons will have a lot of work to do in order to push himself forward and get the team on the right path. There have been videos of him working hard in the past, but it will be more of what he does on the floor moving forward that will prove how bad he wants to be a great player.

“He wants to win,” Green finished. “It’s going to hurt him for summer just as it hurts us. I know the city of Philly is going to be on him, I know the media is going to be on him, but as a young kid, young human being, young player in this game, and he deserves a little latitude, especially for what he’s done and what he’s gone through this year.”

This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!


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