Daryl Morey addresses Ben Simmons’ issues, potential position change

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·5 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The Philadelphia 76ers are still trying to pick up the pieces after letting a golden opportunity slip through their fingers as they fell in Game 7 at home to the Atlanta Hawks in Round 2 of the playoffs. The Sixers were the No. 1 seed in the East and it seemed as if they had their best shot at winning a title in this postseason.

i]In the aftermath of the postseason loss, a lot of eyes are on the offensive shortcomings of Ben Simmons. While Simmons is clearly a talented player and he is an All-Star in this league, a lot of his flaws continued to get exposed in the postseason and his lack of a jumper and poor free-throw shooting was a big reason why Philadelphia failed.

Simmons shot just 34.2% from the line throughout the postseason and that cannot happen moving forward for the Sixers and their title hopes. Coach Doc Rivers mentioned on Monday that he has a plan for Simmons and he hopes that he can get him back on the right track.

“I think that’s our collective challenge,” said team president Daryl Morey on Tuesday. “I think Doc did a good job addressing that yesterday. He spoke with Ben for a long time and they discussed what the next steps are gonna be and the reality is everyone has to look at themselves and figure out how to improve and that includes all of us. Each player has areas they need to work on and we’re gonna work on them.”

The big issue with all of this talk about having a plan for Simmons and everything else that comes with it is that this has been said before. In the past, there have been reports of Simmons not wanting to work with who the Sixers assigned for him, but rather going off and working out with his brother, Liam.

Morey and Rivers, obviously, were not with the Sixers in the past so this will be their first real summer with him, but Morey is confident that Simmons will do what the team asks of him to succeed.

“With respect to the fact that I wasn’t in the meeting, but my understanding is that Ben is just like all our players,” Morey continued. “They’re all in on the organization, the relationship Doc has with the players is extremely strong, and his staff as well. I believe and we would expect for the players to be willing to do whatever is necessary.”

If he does not improve, that then brings up a question of maybe considering that Simmons maybe is just not a point guard with his offensive shortcomings. Rivers did say after their Game 6 win over the Hawks that he would like rookie Tyrese Maxey out on the floor with Simmons and essentially moving him off the ball.

“I think that’s frankly a better question for Doc and actually his coaching staff,” Morey added. “They’re doing quite a few meetings this week and I expect they’ll have another off-site or continuous meetings after that. I leave to Doc and his staff and I think you heard Doc, I agree with him, how tremendous the staff around him was. To give us, in the front office, like’ hey here’s the things we’re seeing’ and then it’s our job to find the players.”

Maxey had 16 points and seven rebounds off the bench as he was able to use his speed and offensive moves to get to the basket. He was a good fit off the bench with Simmons on the floor in that one.

“Frankly, a lot of Doc wanting to play Maxey I think was really more Maxey related that we were seeing in practice what he was able to do,” Morey continued. “I think the best coaches like Doc, they don’t sort of pre-scripts like we have to play X way and, in fact, I thought Doc just did a tremendous job with the roster.”

The point is, Simmons is not creating his own shot. In the regular season, he has those lanes to drive to the basket and he is able to get into the paint and create for his teammates. In the playoffs? Those lanes are not there and he cannot get to the basket as easily. All of that is gone and Philadelphia needs another shot creator from the perimeter.

However, Morey believes that they do have that type of player on the roster;

“I guess I’m challenging the notion that we don’t have that,” he finished. “I’m challenging that notion. We obviously could do better and some of those options are in the form of younger players that sometimes everyone’s nervous to count on, but we really believe in the players we have. We need to do better, but we believe in a lot of the players we have and pretty much all the young players that are pushing our veterans.”

That guy certainly isn’t Simmons. Maybe, just maybe, moving him off the ball full-time is the solution. He is obviously a talented player, but his offensive flaws were once again exposed in Round 2 of the playoffs.

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

List

Sixers individual player grades following Game 7 home loss to Hawks

Related

Doc Rivers still working to change culture around Sixers after year 1

Sixers guard Danny Green discusses his upcoming free agency

Ben Simmons doubtful to play in Olympics in order to develop skills