Ben Simmons blamed himself for the Philadelphia 76ers’ 103-96 Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, which ended the Sixers’ season.
“I ain’t shoot well from the line this series,” said Simmons. “Offensively, I wasn’t there. I didn’t do enough for my teammates. … There’s a lot of things that I need to work on.”
“Man, I will be honest,” said teammate Joel Embiid. “I thought the turning point was, you know, when we, I don’t know how to say it, but I thought the turning point was just we had an open shot and we made one free throw and we missed the other and they came down and scored.”
Embiid blamed Simmons for passing the ball to Matisse Thybulle instead of shooting at the basket himself with 3:29 remaining when the Sixers were down 88-86, resulting in the Hawks gaining five more points with 2:31 left.
“I just assumed Gallo [Danilo Gallinari] was coming up on my back,” explained Simmons. “And then [John] Collins moved out, so I thought we just had a wide-open dunk.”
Simmons added that he needs to calm his mind for now.
“The first thing I’m going to do is clear my mind and get my mental right,” said Simmons. “You got to be mentally tough. You can’t take games for granted. Especially in the playoffs. Every game matters. Every possession matters.”