‘Liability’: Best and worst of Ben Simmons
The basketball conundrum that is Ben Simmons was brutally exposed in the 76ers' wild 117-115 defeat against the Thunder on Sunday.
Simmons was immense for most of the contest - putting up a statline of 20 points, nine assists and 15 rebounds - and played exceptional defence as the Sixers almost pulled off a miracle.
Trailing by three points with 15 seconds to play, Joel Embiid drew a shooting foul on Russell Westbrook on a triple attempt and boldly made all three free throws to tie the game.
The Thunder immediately in-bounded the ball but Simmons trapped Dennis Schroder and forced him into an awful pass to mid-court, which Jimmy Butler intercepted. It really could have been recorded as the Australian's 10th assist.
Butler raced to the basket and made a contested lay-up to give Philadelphia a two-point lead, but after a Thunder time-out Paul George continued the epic back-and-forth by making a three-pointer, plus a bonus free throw after Butler impeded his landing.
The 76ers had five seconds to recover the two-point deficit and the ball was put in Simmons hands.
He dribbled quickly to the three-point line and appeared to have a lane to the basket. But he was determined to get the ball into Butler's hands despite appearing to have the better opportunity to score.
Butler was double-teamed and forced up a three-pointer that never looked like going in - and the game was gone.