Ben Simmons is struggling against the Raptors, but is it really his fault?


Here’s a little bit of news for some of the Sixers fans that want Ben Simmons traded. He’s twenty-two years old. This is his second year in the league. He’s also playing for a coach that doesn’t allow him to play to the best of his abilities. Brett Brown doesn’t not put Simmons in the game to be aggressive. He’s in there to run the offense that Brown wants.

We’ve seen, at times, when Simmons can really light up the scoreboard, but those times seem to be few and far between. It’s not his fault.
He’s charged with running the offense that Brown put in place and that offense doesn’t include Simmons being an aggressive scorer. That is, unless, Joel Embiid is out. Then it seems that Brown takes off the restrictions and has Simmons go full force. When Embiid returns, Simmons goes back to the standard, bring up the ball and hand it off to Embiid.

It’s a shame that someone with the talent that Simmons has isn’t allowed to play a game that more suits his skill set. When you have a player as talented at passing the ball, being guarded by either slower or smaller players, it would be best to let him control the flow of the offense and that’s not the case with the Sixers. He continually has to defer to Joel Embiid. While Embiid may be one of the best big men in the league and one of its best personalities, he’s not the world greatest passer and he definitely can’t put the ball on the floor as well as Simmons.

When we talk about Brown and his “poor” coaching, it’s mostly when the Sixers lose and the fans want to blame anyone but the players. What’s really happening is that the Sixers are succeeding in spite of Brett Brown and not because of him. It feels like almost anyone else would have Embiid remain in the low post and Simmons controlling the flow of the game.

That’s not Brown’s game plan and it hurts the team. To continually have Embiid handling the ball at the perimeter and taking the ball out of Simmons’ hand, you’re making the offense predictable and stagnant. For a team as athletic as this one, the only time that you really see that is when they’re on a fast break and that’s when you can truly see how special Ben Simmons is.

Simmons has known Brett Brown since he was born as Brown coached Simmons dad in Australia. Do you think that he’s going to go against a guy like that, who’s basically like a surrogate father to him? No, he won’t and it’s hurting Simmons and the team. For Brown to not see that Embiid should be dominating everyone in the low post while Simmons controls the movement from the outside is beyond absurd. Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris would thrive, having Simmons be able to catch them during their movement. Simmons is big enough to run the picks that Embiid runs for Reddick, so why is this still happening?

Brett Brown has been given a pass over the past few years as he’s been saddled with a very bad team. But, the past two seasons, Brown has been given actual talent and he’s getting by with the talent winning games because of themselves and nothing that he’s actually doing.

So, if you’re looking for a reason to trade Ben Simmons, take that nonsense somewhere else and actually look at what’s taking place in Philadelphia. Brown is misusing Simmons and the fans are taking it out on a twenty-two-year-old, supremely talented point guard that could run this franchise for the next ten years and do it successfully.

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports