Opinion: With Sixers’ Ben Simmons, there’s a lot to love. But critics shoot down his game

Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers doesn’t want to hear any more question about Ben Simmons’ scoring or free throw shooting woes.

Chances are Rivers will get one before the playoffs are over, and chances are Rivers will not deviate from his steadfast support of his All-Star guard.

"With Ben, we’re going to keep him on the floor unless you guys want us to bench him the whole game," Rivers said. "If anybody wants us to do that, just let me know, and then I’ll know you don’t know basketball."

That was in response to a question about Simmons' foul shooting during the Sixers’ first-round Eastern Conference playoff series against Washington. Simmons missed his first 10 free throws in the series and the Wizards at times employed Hack-A-Ben.

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With or without Joel Embiid, who sustained a small lateral tear of the meniscus in his right knee, the Sixers need Simmons on the court in the conference semifinals against Atlanta. The series starts Sunday (1 p.m. ET, ABC) in Philadelphia.

In defense of Rivers’ defense of Simmons, the Sixers point-forward is too valuable offensively and defensively.


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