Atlanta Hawks center talks Ben Simmons and playoff series against 76ers
Even though it’s been over two months since the 76ers were eliminated in the semi-finals to the Atlanta Hawks, there has still been much discussion surrounding Ben Simmons and company. Recently, Atlanta Hawks center Onyeka Okongwu appeared on the Noble & Roosh Show to discuss numerous topics, including the Philadelphia 76ers.
The first mention of Philadelphia was Onyeka’s welcome to the NBA moment. For him, it was against Philly in the regular season against former 76ers center Dwight Howard.
“I remember we’re in Philadelphia, and I was going up against Dwight Howard. He was just abusing me. I couldn’t believe it. I tried to grab his arms, and he would overpower me. He did it about four times that game.”
Okongwu is likely referencing the game from April 30th, where Dwight had 19 points and 11 rebounds off the bench in a 126-104 victory. That wasn’t the only reference for the 76ers. Following that up, Noble and Roosh brought out Ben Simmons and asked how Atlanta strategized for Ben’s lack of shooting.
“We didn’t gameplan for (Ben Simmons) because everybody knew he wasn’t going to take shots… we knew that most of the association knows that”
Quite the jab at Ben Simmons there, although Onyeka isn’t wrong in the slightest. It wasn’t all negative towards Ben as Okongwu would go on to compliment his ability around the basket and more. Ben didn’t record a single shot outside the paint that entire series outside a buzzer-beater shot and brought his unwillingness to shoot to a national level.
To finish off the Philly discussion, Okongwu was asked who his toughest matchup was, and he took no time to come up with an answer.
“Joel Embiid was for sure. Joel, he’s so big he like towers over me I had to use my leverage and quickness to guard him.”
Okongwu saw a lot of time against Joel that series, with Clint Capela being in foul trouble consistently. He did a decent job against Embiid, but it’s a tough challenge nonetheless. Against Atlanta, Embiid averaged 30 points and had some of the best games in his entire NBA career. For the 76ers, they’re continuing to go through trade discussions for Ben Simmons to hopefully avoid another second-round loss next season.
Mandatory Credit: USA Today