This was supposed to be the season for the Philadelphia 76ers.
The 76ers were going to win the championship this year.
They ended the regular season as the number one seed in the Eastern Conference.
Joel Embiid was an MVP candidate all season long.
Doc Rivers came in this season to provide a new voice and new leadership to a team that has struggled to make it past the second round.
Unfortunately, they are not in the playoffs anymore.
The Atlanta Hawks were able to upset the 76ers in seven games during their second-round matchup.
How did a season that was significant to a new era of 76ers basketball end in another failure?
If you ask that question to 76ers fans, they will say it is due to Ben Simmons.
Simmons was the first overall pick in 2016 and was labeled as a generational talent.
However, his challenges with shooting have been slowing down the team’s journey to success.
He did not have the best series, but can he truly be the one to blame?
Both sides have an interesting case as to who is to blame.
You Can’t Put It All On Ben
Simmons did have a miserable playoffs this season.
However, he can only do so much.
He was in charge of staying with Trae Young most of the series.
There were also some big assists numbers.
The problem is his refusal to shoot.
This can easily fall on Simmons, but what about the organization?
If he is struggling with this shooting issue and his mental, then the franchise should help.
Charles Barkley touched on this idea.
Charles Barkley says that it is a failure of the Sixers organization that Ben Simmons hasn't been made to shoot the basketball.
— 975TheFanatic (@975TheFanatic) June 21, 2021
The organization has tried to help, but obviously not enough.
Bad habits can be fixed.
The 76ers have not been able to fix the issues.
Furthermore, Rivers can’t escape the blame.
For most of his coaching career, he has been known for choking leads.
Doc Rivers 2020 playoff exit:
G5 — Blew 16-point lead
G6 — Blew 19-point lead
G7 — Blew 12-point lead
Doc Rivers 2021 playoff exit:
G4 — Blew 18-point lead
G5 — Blew 26-point lead at home
G7 — Lost at home to opposing best player shooting 5-23 pic.twitter.com/kHmlD2SNtu
— StatMuse (@statmuse) June 21, 2021
His most recent collapse was with the Los Angeles Clippers just last season.
He had the Clippers up 3-1 in a series last season in the second round.
However, they lost the series.
Rivers still has a championship pedigree and is respected around the league.
Unfortunately, he can face responsibility for this loss.
His lineups throughout the series were questionable.
He played 10 players in a Game 7.
Rivers was a key factor in their postseason disaster.
Ben Simmons Is The Biggest Reason
Simmons has the talent, but he does not have the will.
The video that will be played in our heads for a long time is him not wanting to dunk an open shot under the rim.
Ben Simmons did not just pass this up… pic.twitter.com/4JyM7ZHNkJ
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 21, 2021
For five seasons now, he has not gotten better on offense.
His offensive game is extremely limited.
The organization might be responsible with the bad habits, but he should want to put the extra work in.
Shooting threes would be an added bonus, but it is not the thing we want to see.
Instead, we want him to be aggressive every game.
There should not be times where the world is excited to see an aggressive version of him.
Simmons is a broken player that might not be able to be fixed.
Nobody can force him to shoot or play hard.
That is all up to himself.
He has to want to win.
However, he has not shown that level of want.