‘Sell the Lie!’: Happy Sixers Fans React to Latest Ben Simmons Twist

Ben Simmons

Adam Hunger/Getty Images Ben Simmons

When the Philadelphia 76ers traded Ben Simmons for James Harden at the trade deadline on February 10,  many fans rushed to the schedules to see when the team could potentially play Simmons. To their amusement, they saw the Brooklyn Nets will be making the trip to Philadelphia on March 10.

Unfortunately, it looks like Simmons has suffered a setback with his back injury and likely won’t be available for that March 10 game against the Sixers according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.

Simmons hasn’t played this season after he grew unhappy with the Sixers and chose to sit out until he was traded. To the surprise of many, he wasn’t ready to play when he was finally traded to the Nets.

Ducking the Sixers

It’s no secret that Sixers fans were happy to see Simmons go, the way he handled his situation didn’t sit well with many. So when the news broke that Simmons likely won’t play in Philadelphia, it’s no surprise that media and fans alike had a lot to say about him missing the game.

Yikes is right. Even in a world where Skip Bayless makes up a new reason to criticize LeBron James seemingly every day and in a season where Russell Westbrook has been chided constantly, Simmons has still probably been the most criticized player in the NBA this season without even playing a game yet.

It’s clear that fans of the Sixers and the media still think it’s necessary to take shots at Simmons. The one thing Sixers fans can take in solace in though is he’s no longer their problem.

Sixers Since the Trade

Since the Sixers parted ways with Simmons and added Harden the team has been on cloud nine. The team has won all three games in a dominant fashion.

The Sixers in those three games have averaged 127 points per game and have been allowing just 106.67 points per game. Harden for his part has been averaging 27.33 points, 12.33 assists, and 9 rebounds per game.

The most impressive part of Harden’s addition might just be the impact he’s had on some of his teammates. In the three games with Harden, Joel Embiid has averaged 32.67 points and 10.33 rebounds per game. Embiid has also shot 53 free throws over the three games, making 45 of them.

Tyrese Maxey has exploded with Harden. The second-year guard has averaged 24.67 points per game while shooting 64.3% from the field and 64.3% from three. Third-year guard Matisse Thybulle’s numbers have also gone up with Harden. He’s averaging 9.67 points on 63.2% shooting.

The jump in Maxey and Thybulle’s production are a direct result of Harden’s passing. The amount of attention he draws along with Embiid has opened up better opportunities for Maxey and Thybulle.

What the Sixers have done with Harden is obviously a small sample size, but it’s still given fans and the team plenty of reasons to be excited. The team hasn’t had any turmoil yet, so it’s hard to know how they’ll react when that inevitably happens in the future. With that said, for now, the Sixers are in a good place.

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