Wizards embarrass Ben Simmons with free throw strategy
The Washington Wizards picked on Ben Simmons towards the end of Game 4 of their first-round playoff series with the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night.
Simmons entered Game 4 of the series 0-for-9 from the free throw line. So with the game tied at 108 and under three minutes remaining, the Wizards tried to exploit that Simmons weakness. They sent him to the free throw line four times over the final three minutes of the game. Simmons split his free throws for each trip, going 4-for-8. He was 5-of-11 overall at the line during the game.
The Wizards went from being tied 108-108 with Philly to winning the game 122-114. It’s hard to argue the strategy didn’t pay off, though Doc Rivers felt otherwise.
Doc Rivers, on Ben Simmons' free-throw shooting at the end: "Analytically, if you split all those free throws, you'll take a point per possession. He did that. I had no issues with it. "
— Derek Bodner (@DerekBodnerNBA) June 1, 2021
There is no way Rivers can really feel that way. He’s probably working hard to try and keep Simmons’ confidence intact, because getting the “Hack-a-Shaq” treatment has to be embarrassing for a guard. This also isn’t new for Simmons, who has faced questions about his shooting for a while.