Rivers unsure Simmons can be point guard of championship team

Tim Nwachukwu / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers didn't exactly give Ben Simmons a ringing endorsement when asked if he can be the point guard of a championship team.

"I don't know the answer to that right now," Rivers told reporters after the 76ers' season-ending Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

Simmons' struggles were a focal point throughout the second-round series. He failed to register at least 10 points in four of the seven contests, including a five-point performance in Game 7.

The Australian didn't show much aggression offensively against Atlanta in the fourth quarter, attempting just three field goals during the final frame throughout the entire Eastern Conference semifinals.

Simmons' free-throw shooting woes resulted in the "Hack-a-Shaq" treatment from the Hawks. His 34.2% clip from the charity stripe this postseason is the worst in a single NBA postseason for a player with at least 70 attempts, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

"I didn't shoot well from the line this series. Offensively, I wasn't there," Simmons said postgame, according to The Athletic's Rich Hofmann. "I ain't do enough for my teammates ... There's a lot of things I need to work on."

Philadelphia was very much in Game 7 despite not getting much scoring from Simmons. Joel Embiid, who produced 31 points and 11 boards, kept the 76ers within striking distance and expressed frustration about a fourth-quarter sequence that caused the contest to unravel.

"I thought the turning point was just we had an open shot and we made one free throw and we missed the other and then they came down and scored," Embiid said, according to Hofmann.

He added: "We didn't get a good possession on the other end and Trae came back and he made a three and then from there down four, it's on me. I turned the ball over and tried to make something happen from the perimeter. But I thought that was the turning point."

Rivers unsure Simmons can be point guard of championship team
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