Stephen A. Smith says Ben Simmons is reason Sixers won’t win a title

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The Philadelphia 76ers are in a tough situation on Friday night as they head into hostile territory looking to keep their season alive against the Atlanta Hawks in Game 6. Philadelphia is facing elimination down 3-2 and they need a win just to force a Game 7 at home on Sunday.

A big reason why the Sixers have struggled is the poor play of Ben Simmons. The All-Star guard has had some real struggles from the foul line shooting just 12-for-39 in this series and it has affected his aggressiveness. He has not been pushing the pace as much as he normally does and he has only taken one shot in the second half of both Game 4 and Game 5.

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith ripped Simmons before Game 6 on Friday for his performance and he had this to say about the All-Star guard:

I’ve had this conversation with Doc Rivers at the beginning of the season. I’ll say it again, I said it to him, I said to everybody who would listen, Ben Simmons can’t shoot and as a result, that’s why the Philadelphia 76ers ain’t gonna win the title. When your primary ball-handler and decision maker is not a threat to shoot the ball beyond five feet, that is a problem.

Smith also addressed the poor free-throw shooting from Simmons as well:

Then when you take into account the free-throw shooting, Ben Simmons has missed 26 of 39 free throws. That’s 12-for-39 shooting from the free-throw line. He’s missed more free throws than the entire Atlanta Hawks squad. It’s just embarrassing, it’s pathetic, it’s inexcusable, and it makes you wonder what the hell these people are doing in their offseason.

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The Sixers will have to rely on both Simmons and Joel Embiid to lead the way in this win-or-go-home situation. Philadelphia put together this roster with a championship in mind and they are one loss away from falling short once again in Round 2.

Tip off from State Farm Arena is set for 7:30 p.m. EDT on Friday.

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

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