Zach Lowe: "The Bottom Line Is The Only Time The Sixers Looked Like A Real Championship Threat Was When Jimmy Butler Was There."

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(via Liberty Ballers)

(via Liberty Ballers)

The Philadelphia 76ers entered the playoffs as the number 1 seed in the Eastern Conference but once again, they couldn't even make it to the Conference Finals.

You can point out Doc Rivers' rotation and how well the Atlanta Hawks played. But you just can't ignore the fact that their starting point guard - who's set to make north of $30 million a year - couldn't be on the court down the stretch.

Ben Simmons simply decided to not even look at the rim. He gave up a wide-open layup and couldn't make his free throws down the stretch.

That's why ESPN's Zach Lowe went as far as to call this situation an 'ongoing disaster', adding that the Sixers were only a legit threat with Jimmy Butler on the team:

"There's no sugarcoating it: the Simmons thing is an ongoing disaster unfolding on a national stage. The bottom line is the only time the Sixers looked like a real championship threat was when Jimmy Butler was there," Lowe said.

Well, that's not a bad take at all. The Sixers were one bounce away from taking the 2019 Raptors to overtime and could've even beaten them to make it to the ECF in the brief time Butler was there.

But then, neither Jimmy nor the Sixers were convinced that they were a fit for each other so they arranged a sign-and-trade to send him to the Miami Heat, where he would go on to make it to the NBA Finals the very next season.

Ben Simmons has a lot of soul-searching to do. From a mental standpoint, and from a competitive standpoint. The potential is clearly there, the physical tools are also there. Now, it's entirely up to him to live up to his contract or be forever mocked by every other fanbase.