NBA Playoffs 2019: Sixers' Ben Simmons calls out Philly fans for booing team during Game 1 loss
The Sixers lost Game 1 to the Nets at home, 111-102
The Philadelphia 76ers are not in a good place right now. Joel Embiid ended up playing in Game 1 of their playoff series but is not 100 percent due to his still bothersome knee. Embiid and Amir Johnson created a stir by sneaking a look at Johnson's cell phone on the bench during the game. And of course, they were routed in Game 1 by the feisty Nets, who jumped out to a big lead early and held on for a 111-102 win to take a 1-0 series lead.
Unsurprisingly, the Philadelphia fans were a bit upset on Saturday afternoon as they showered their team with boos early and often during the loss. That might have been a little harsh, as it's only Game 1, but such is the nature of Philly fans, who have never been confused for being kind or understanding of poor performances by their teams.
Also unsurprising was that some of the players weren't thrilled by the reaction from the fans. After the game, Ben Simmons called them out, suggesting, "If you're going to boo, then stay on that side," he said. "That's how I feel, if you're a Sixer fan and you're going to boo then stay on that side."
Embiid was a little more accepting saying it was "understandable," but did add that it can be "annoying" when it happens so often, and suggested that it could affect some players' performances.
In further sticking to script, Jimmy Butler seemed to be the only player unbothered by the reaction.
"I understand it. They want to see us win. Hell, I want to see us win, too," Butler said. "In the end, I think we just got to do better. I guarantee if we're winning they're not booing. That's the way to change it. Just got to go out there and win on Monday."
Perhaps that was because Butler knew none of the boos were directed at him. The veteran was the only Sixer who really played well on Saturday, scoring a playoff career-high 36 points. Simmons, meanwhile, put up just nine points and seven rebounds and finished a minus-21 in the game.
It will be interesting to see how Game 2 goes after what can only be called a disaster in Game 1. If the Sixers get out to another poor start, the fans are sure to be quick in voicing their displeasure.
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