Danny Green knows a thing or two about what it takes to be part of a title-winning team. After all, the Philadelphia 76ers wing has appeared in 153 postseason games and captured three championship rings (with three different teams) over the course of his 12-year NBA career.
So, when the 34-year-old speaks out on a teammate’s postseason struggles, it’s probably going to be something worth listening to. And he has some thoughts on what went down with Ben Simmons during Philly’s disappointing playoff run.
Green offered his assessment of the Simmons situation on the season finale of his podcast, Inside the Green Room.
In some respects, he was complimentary of the former No. 1 overall pick while serving up his take. However, Green also identified a character trait that may have contributed to Simmons’ foul-shooting woes and his lack of offensive aggressiveness.
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Green: Simmons Isn’t a Risk-Tasker Without Encouragement
As he broke down Simmons’ playoff performance, Green noted that there may have been some off-court issues affecting what happened on the hardwood.
“Off the court, with his family things back home, and he doesn’t necessarily discuss it with us in private, but I knew he was going through a lot,” Green said. “He had some things going on during the season.”
However, he also opined that the Aussie floor general isn’t the type of player to go out on a limb without proper motivation. That could explain why he was hesitant to attempt making a play for himself as the Sixers faced elimination during their ill-fated second-round series with the Atlanta Hawks.
“Ben’s the type of kid — if he’s not encouraged, and he’s not pushed or forced to do it — he’s not the type to take that risk,” he said.
“Obviously, he’s a high IQ guy. You can tell, he gets a lot of assists and pushing the pace and he gets paid to do what he does, because he’s so good at it, but he doesn’t step outside that box because he knows well enough ‘I’m good at this. I don’t need to step out. It’s not like I’m encouraged to do this, so I’m kind of afraid to do this kind to do this type of thing.'”
Green: “He Wasn’t the Ben Simmons We Needed Him to Be”
According to Green, Simmons still provided a lot for Philly throughout its playoff run.
“He played defense as well as he could for us and gave us the dynamic of assisting the ball and finding guys and pushing the pace,” said Green.
Still, the veteran 3-and-D specialist was adamant that the Sixers needed more from Simmons against Atlanta. And, in Green’s eyes, that unwillingness to take risks and the mental effect of his free-throw struggles prevented him from answering the call.
“We did need him to attack the rim and be more aggressive, but he felt like he was not getting his touch right and also the free-throw line — it kind of crept on him mentally to where he wasn’t able to get the rhythm you wanted.” he said.
“At the same time, he still fought, he showed up, he still played, he still worked hard, he still tried to give us his best chance for us to win with doing what he does with screening, rolling, rebounding, defending and he did it to the highest capability could.”
In the end, though, it wasn’t enough.
“Just, offensively, he wasn’t the Ben Simmons we needed him to be at the time,” Green concluded.
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