My God. Ben Simmons. BIG YIKES. What a disaster of a conference semi-finals he had. What a disaster his shooting is. What a disaster his contract is. I'll break all these down in a second but here's a reminder. The Rockets nearly traded James Harden, yes, THE James Harden, who is arguably a top 5 player in the league, for this piece of trash known as Ben Simmons. Let's look at the problems, shall we?
Problem #1: Ben Simmons is afraid for some odd reason
What in the hell is that Simmons?!? You have a wide open dunk or at worst, a layup, and decided to pass it into contested coverage to your teammate. Dude, you are a "leader" on this team. A leader commands the floor, like your buddy Joel Embiid does. Why are you afraid to shoot? When he turns and has an obvious dunk, the Hawk coming in to contest the shot is Trae Young. Ben, are you telling me you're to scared to dunk on Trae Young?? C'mon man!
Problem #2: Ben Simmons is non existent when it matters most
You don't have to be a basketball nerd to know that those stats are God awful. In a 7 game series, Simmons was 3/3 in the fourth quarter. Three shots...in the entire 4th quarter...for every game this series. You know who else plays like that? Bench players with minor roles on their team. Not a starting point guard who makes the insane amount of money Simmons does. And speaking of the money...
Problem #3: His contract is laughably awful
Oh my sweet Jesus. The Sixers are soooooo screwed with that contract. Let's put it this way. I make significantly less and I shoot as well as Ben Simmons does. So there's that.
So, put all that together and what do you get? A player who absolutely sucks in the clutch, is non existent when it matters most and a player who's coach can't defend him anymore and who's star teammate throws him under the bus.
With all that in mind, we should all be thanking two people. The first person you have to thank is ex Rockets and current 76ers GM Daryl Morey. This man wanted his favorite star James Harden to play for him in Philly. However, he was unwilling to let go of Simmons. So, thanks for that Morey.
The second person you have to thank is current Rockets GM Rafael Stone. Him backing away from the Harden for Simmons trade and not pulling the trigger on it is easily the best decision he's made in his short time here. If that deal is made, then the Rockets are stuck with a guy who can't shoot, a horrible contract, and the rebuild would have been set back by literal years.
Thank god the Sixers still "trust the process."