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Thoughts from Philly on winning without Ben Simmons

Now down 0-2 in their first-round series against the Boston Celtics, what does the Philadelphia press feel about the 76'ers chances of winning the series - or even one game? Well, the headline from Marcus Hayes' article for the Philadelphia Enquirer might give us a hint:

Love him or hate him, these Sixers can’t win without Ben Simmons



Simmons will never gain the affection shown to Larry Bird by Boston fans, but he may be a vital piece for Coach Brett Brown - this from The Enquirer's Marcus Hayes:

Ben Simmons has a knee injury. He’s out for the foreseeable future. Without him, Jayson Tatum is cooking the Sixers. Without him, there is no offensive identity. Without him, there is no leader. Brown said “we make our money” through Joel Embiid, and Embiid calls himself The Process, but it’s never been clearer how valuable Simmons is. Trademark aside, it’s Ben’s team, for better or worse. With him, it might not always thrive. Without him, it dies.

In his article, Hayes stresses the importance of Simmons in transition baskets. Ben's ability to rebound and lead a fast break is sorely missing in the two first-round games thus far. Simmons has size, quickness, defensive skills and just happens to be a great assist guy for the 76'ers. They miss all of that.

So love him or hate him, the 76'ers appear to sorely miss Ben. And it frankly looks like a huge uphill battle to overcome his loss. The Celtics' loss of Gordon Hayward has not slowed them down appreciably, and a win tonight would surely put them in command of the series.

Photo via Yong Kim

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