Ben Simmons Trying to Build a House with These Bricks

A debate as old as his career: can Ben Simmons shoot? While his .000 3PT% says no, but his relationships with Tanashe and Kendall Jenner say maybe.

In college, Simmons’ jumpshot looked like it was a promising work in progress. A couple years in the NBA should develop him into a semi-reliable three point shooter. But now, in his third rookie season, Simmons is not only tied for the worst three point percentage in the league, but teams refuse to respect him from anywhere outside the paint.

He is working on it though. Only problem, the practice is showing absolutely no progress of any kind. Take a look:

Looking like Shaq from the free throw line. To be completely fair, that assistant coach was playing super stellar defense right there. A lot more defense at the top of the key than Simmons is used to.

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NBA Playoffs Take Ratings Hit… But Are Better Than Ever

Recently saw that the ratings have hit a viewership dropoff akin to when Jordan retired both times. Is this because LeBron isn’t in the playoffs? Of course it is! However, I am stuck here saying this has been one of my favorite playoffs, and there are a host of reasons…

The West has had a shockingly bad playoff stretch. The Rockets and my beloved Jazz was horrible to watch. Watching the Clips take swings at the Warriors is cute, but futile. The Spurs and Nuggets is great, but it is just painful to watch the horrible shooting both teams are displaying currently. The best series is the Thunder-Trailblazers, and that is solely for the reason Dame is big brother-ing Russ out there. Or is it because Russ and the Thunder can’t hit a three if their life depended on it?

It doesn’t matter, since the East is where the action has been. Sure, the Bucks-Pistons and Raptors-Magic series were predictable in their outcomes. And the Celtics-Pacers game was disappointing without Dipo suiting up. Yet the best series of the first round goes to the 76ers-Nets matchup, where the Night King himself Jared Dudley has cemented himself as the Meme God of the playoffs.

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Even though the Nets may be down 3-1 in the series right now, Game 5 is worth your attention. With Game 4 resulting in Jared Dudley taking swipes at both Joel Embiid and Jimmy Butler, who knows what J-Dud has in store for us. However, he is not the only player to get ejected…

The real reason I am writing this is to point out why many around NBA media/Twitter are saying this is an amazing first round right now, and I think it is stemming from the animosity players are beginning to show again. Last year, there were 3 ejections in the entire playoffs. Before Sunday’s games, there were 7. AND THIS IS THE FIRST ROUND! I am getting some serious 90’s animosity levels on the court right now, and it is absolutely amazing to regain that aspect of entertainment for the NBA again.

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Can’t wait for the Game 5’s to roll around. Might even make/buy some popcorn for this.

The Nets Deserve Every Part of Their Last Two Losses to the Sixers

In a shocking upset, the Brooklyn Nets defeated the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round. To the Nets credit, they did shut down Redick, Harris and Simmons en route to a 111-102 victory. They even made Philly fans devolve into their natural forms and began booing their own team.

Little did they know, Philly booing themselves is a pretty easy feat to achieve. Game 1 could have just been an off night for the Sixers. Maybe just part of “the process” we should all be trusting.

Hard to believe that the team that hasn’t been good since Jason Kidd was a player would let one win go to their head. The trolls of Brooklyn even put up their keyboard for a night and took to the streets to let Ben Simmons know just how badly he played in Game 1.

Gotta say; this is pretty hilarious. Not just that something that never existed can’t be missing, but that every other line has a new jab at Simmons. The amount in his contract, the contact at the bottom, and the reference to what Jared Dudley had to say about Simmons’ play… “just average.”

Simmons probably didn’t see the missing poster before Game 2, but he definitely heard what Dudley had to say. He was probably asking the same question as the rest of us: “Wait, who is Jared Dudley?” It’s gotta sting a little bit when a lesser-known player than yourself decides to call you “just average”.

Brooklyn had to know that all of this chirping was going to bite them in the long run. And bite them it did. In Game 2, Simmons dropped a triple-double. Then, a 31 point performance in Game 3 to take the lead of the series 2-1.

Shouldn’t have poked the bear, Brooklyn. Y’all deserve every bit of these last two losses.

Philly Fans Back to Booing Their Own Team

Say what you will about the Philadelphia fan base, but at least they show up to games. Maybe what they do at those games is more detrimental than checking on your sick child, but they are there and that has to count for something.

If I know Philly fans for one thing, it is that they either easily lose faith in their team or they are all ghosts. All I ever hear is “boo”. In just the last week, they graced us with two different displays of their disapproval in two different sports.

First, they booed their own 76ers. Take a look:

Considering that the Sixers were getting worked by the Brooklyn Nets of all teams, I have to side with the Philly fans here. How much longer are they going to have one of the best starting 5’s in the NBA before they start getting some real results in the Playoffs. “Trusting the process” now is like trusting George RR Martin that the dragons would come. Yes, eventually they came, but like two seasons late.

Maybe the same true Philly sports fans went to the Phillies game, because they showed exactly why some people consider them the worst fanbase.

We’re booing pitchers for their hitting abilities now? That’s like booing Tom Brady for his catching ability… which I am sure Philly fans did too. So when all of the all-stars on the team failed to get anything going, the straw that broke the camel’s back was when the relief pitcher struck out. There could not have possibly been a thought process that went into that.

Russell Westbrook on Karl-Anthony Towns and Dario Saric: “Get to the F****** Playoffs Before You Speak to Me.”

Yes, that is a real quote. Russell Westbrook actually said to Karl-Anthony Towns and Dario Saric that they need to make the playoffs before they talk to him. I know this was trash talk during a game, but at least get your facts straight… and be able to back it up.

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This is wildly bananas for so many reasons.

First, both of these guys made the playoffs LAST YEAR, but let’s start with KAT. Towns led his mediocre T-wolves team to the 8 seed in the Western Conference. Not an easy thing to do when he was the team’s only top-20 player. Of course, they got bounced first round by the Rockets. This was hardly KAT’s fault though. He had 10+ rebounds every game and 3 double-doubles in the series. They even took a game from the Rockets. I blame Jimmy Butler for the poor team performance.

Next, Dario Saric not only went to the post season, but actually won a playoff series last year. The 76ers beat the Heat 4-1 in the first round before getting bounced by the Celtics.

I really don’t know what Westbrook was talking about here. This is like people telling Tom Brady he isn’t the best when all he has ever done is win championships. Just utter buffoonery. KAT and Saric meet all the criteria that Westbrook has put out there.

Also, how can Westbrook even say this? He has not made it out of the first round since Durant left OKC. Why in the world would he think that he can talk smack to someone who made it further than he did?

Even “Playoff P” could not help him in the get out of the first round. I expect the same this year.

Is Kendall Free From the Curse?

For anyone who knows anything about Hollywood, the Kardashian/Jenner clan run the world. People grow up obsessed with everything they do. Whether it be lip kits, perfume, makeup, or photoshoots, people follow their every move, which is fine for most people but not athletes. If you know about the Kardashian/Jenner then you know about their curse that they bring along. Khloe and Kim have cursed athletes and other celebrities, but has Kendall Jenner actually done the opposite for Ben Simmons?

When Khloe was married to Lamar Odom, he was at the peak of his career. While they were married, Lamar’s cousin died and then the following week Lamar was involved in a serious wreck in which his driver struck a 15 year old boy, killing him. This led to a downward spiral for Lamar, which led to his drug addiction as well as him being found unconscious at a brothel. Now, this wasn’t all Khloe’s fault, but she was married to him..thus the Kardashian curse had struck.

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Khloe also dated James Harden, who blamed his struggles on the media surrounding Khloe and him. They started dating in 2015 and eventually broke up after 8 months due to the “scrutiny” he was under and it left him unfocused. James said “I didn’t like all the attention. I feel like it was for no reason. I wasn’t getting anything out of it except my name out there and my face out there, and I don’t need that. It wasn’t uncomfortable, but it wasn’t me. I don’t need pictures of myself when I’m driving my car. Who cares? What shoes am I wearing? Who cares? Where am I eating? Who cares? It was unnecessary stuff that I think trickled down to my teammates. I had to eliminate that.” James had his worst season in the NBA during this time.

Tristan Thompson and Khloe Kardashian have been a thing for awhile, well since 2016. Since that time, his team got swept in the NBA Finals and also lost in 5 games to the same team the previous year. During that time, the 2017 Finals, Tristan had a stretch of 3 games and in that stretch, he scored zero points in two of those 3 games. Many people blamed the dreaded Kardashian curse, even ESPN’s Jalen Rose saying, “I want to say what everybody’s thinking. There are three things in life that are certain to me: Father Time, gravity, and the curse of the Kardashians. Tristan Thompson had zero points in two of the three (Finals) games.”

Kris Humphries and Kim Kardashian tied the knot in 2011. Kris was in the prime of his career, with a contract year coming up and he had the worst year of his career. Right after they got married, they moved to New York together and it all went downhill. Kris and Kim were not right for one another and fought all the time, but during their 72 day marriage, Kim killed Kris’ basketball career, too. Not only his career, but his pride left too as he claimed the Kardashians were only using him to shine light on their family, he was denied the annulment.

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I think it is well known now that the Kardashian clan can cause some trouble for anyone who enters their lives. Well, not Ben Simmons. Kendall and Ben have been dating for awhile, but mainly during this season. This season, Simmons is averaging 16.7 points, 9.1 rebounds, 7.9 assists that roughly mirrors his stats from last season. In fact, he has improved in rebounding by a whole rebound as well as points. Simmons has had a better year while averaging the exact same minutes as the year before, oh and not to mention, the 76ers are a combined 13-2 when Kendall comes to a game. In the games she comes to, Simmons typically plays one of his better games of the year, which brings into question…Is Kendall exempt from the curse?

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I think it’s clear than Kendall is not apart of the curse. They have won 13 of 15 when she is present and Simmons tends to play one of his better games of the season. I wrote earlier on how Jenner was trying to convince Simmons to come to LA (https://soft7sports.com/2019/01/25/kendall-jenner-recruiting-ben-simmons-to-la-lakers/) and that was almost proven when the NBA decided to investigate tampering between Magic and Simmons, but he just wanted to learn from Magic on his position. If I’m the 76ers and Ben Simmons, I try and keep Kendall around for as long as possible. Not only is she beautiful, but she is helping your team win and helping Ben Simmons become the best player possible.

MLK Day Basketball is Here

While many (myself included) will describe NBA Christmas as the best day for regular season basketball, MLK Day comes in at a close second. Multiple playoff teams play each other, and some always have a bigger picture at stake. For instance, a certain team playing early today should hope to lose to improve draft positioning, whereas the game right after will feature two teams vying for the 8 seed in the playoffs. There is so much to get into, and so little time, so we should probably go in order of TV air times right?

12:30pm = Thunder-Knicks

As stated earlier, the first game, while shaping to be a blowout, does have a lot of implications for the future. Paul George can slightly let off the pedal of his dual MVP/DPotY race since there is not a single talented players stepping on the court wearing a Knicks jersey. Russ can easily get his triple-double average he desperately craves. Most importantly, Enes Kanter will again enjoy the satisfaction of riding the bench and eating to put on size to rival future teammate Zion Williamson. However, much like football, this is a trap game. If the Thunder let off the pedal too much, the Knicks do have the firepower to score themselves back into the game. For the Knicks, while they may WISH they want to win, they should remember that they don’t WANT to win. It would be better for both teams if the Thunder won, which I predict they will do.

5:30pm = Pelicans-Grizzlies

As stated earlier, this is a fight for the 8th seed in the playoffs. While I fully expect Anthony Davis to dominate the aging Marc Gasol, I do not think Jrue will be able to best Mike Conley. With that push between the two stars, this means that the fight will occur with the rest of both team’s lineups. Both teams are defensive juggernauts, but which sideshow duo (Moore-Randle vs. Anderson-Jackson, Jr.) will be able to overpower the other to help secure the win?

Who knows, but it should be interesting to see. Both team’s fates are intertwined to the outcome of this game since the trade deadline is fast approaching. Maybe a loss convinces one team it is time to cut ties with an All-Star? Gimme the Pels though over the Griz in this one (sorry @soft7juice).

8:00pm = Rockets-76ers

This is the PPV (not to be confused with POV) of the night for sure. You cannot miss the culmination of Harden’s INSANE stretch be dethroned by the 76ers. While I do not believe the Rockets with Capela and Paul can topple an Embiid-Butler-Simmons 76ers, I do believe that Harden will shot/score enough to keep them in the picture. I can’t wait to watch all the iso ball that will go on in this game, and I will for sure LOVE the fact that Butler will be guarding Harden for the majority of this game. I might even make popcorn. I got the 76ers in this one.

10:30pm = Warriors-Lakers

For what looked like a marque matchup at the beginning of the season, a LeBron-less Lakers don’t fan my flames as much as it may for some. I will go ahead and get this out of the way now:

– the Warriors are gonna kill the Lakers

– Kuzma will be the best player to don the purple and gold tonight

– Ingram will suck

I can’t wait til LeBron is back because watching the Lakers without him is like watching a train go off the rails. Never forget Laker fans didn’t even want him, and they are now begging for him to return.

Pathetic.