The Philadelphia 76ers are in the middle of a playoff run that they believe can eventually end with them hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy in July. They certainly have the pieces to do so led by a star duo of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons as the two of them are tough for any team to handle.
However, Simmons does have a big weakness that seems to be getting exploited in these playoffs.
Simmons has been struggling from the line as he is shooting just 13-for-40 through the first seven playoff games thus far. The opposition has begun using the Hack-a-Ben strategy that has thrown the Sixers out of rhythm offensively and they can’t score due to his struggles at the line.
One former NBA head coach talked with A. Sherrod Blakely of Bleacher Report and he believes Simmons’ poor free-throw shooting will cost the Sixers a playoff series.
The coach, who remained anonymous, told Blakely:
“It’s a tough spot for Doc to be in,” said a former NBA head coach. “Ben does so many things that you as a coach love for your guys to do. But his free-throw shooting is going to cost them a playoff series. Hell, you can make a case that it cost them Game 1 against the Hawks. Who knows what it would have done if Doc didn’t take him out for a minute or two there when Atlanta was trying to foul, and bring him back when they couldn’t intentionally foul him.”
Coach Doc Rivers even took Simmons off the floor in Game 2 when the Atlanta Hawks went to the hacking strategy and he promptly missed both. Philadelphia was able to knock off the Washington Wizards in five games despite his struggles and they are in a 1-1 series with Atlanta in Round 2 and the free-throw shooting will have to improve for the Sixers to continue on their path.
This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!