Ben Simmons free-throw struggles see Philadelphia 76ers star make unwanted piece on NBA history

Ben Simmons’ foul-shooting woes up to now within the playoffs aren’t simply apparent.

They’re principally unprecedented.

The Philadelphia guard is 22 for 67 from the road up to now on this postseason. He’s all the way down to 32.8 p.c after going 4-for-14 in Philadelphia’s Game 5 loss to Atlanta within the Eastern Conference semifinals on Wednesday night time – and no one in NBA playoff history, with that many makes an attempt in single postseason, has ever been worse.

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The subsequent lowest proportion, amongst these with at the very least 67 foul photographs in a postseason, is Shaquille O’Neal’s 37.4 p.c for Miami in 2006 – when the Heat wound up profitable the NBA championship anyway.

“Obviously, I’ve got to knock down free throws,” Simmons mentioned. “I’ve got to step up and do that.”

Game 6 of the sequence is Friday in Atlanta, with the top-seeded 76ers now in a win-or-go-home state of affairs since they path the best-of-seven 3-2.

There have been, getting into Thursday, 804 different situations in NBA history of a participant taking at the very least 67 free throws in a single postseason. Of these, somebody has completed beneath 50 p.c solely 23 instances, beneath than 40 p.c solely 5 different instances – three by Wilt Chamberlain, two by O’Neal.

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Chamberlain and O’Neal are all-time greats, and one other Hall of Famer – Ben Wallace, a part of the 2021 class – would have been worse if he took 67 free throws within the 2006 playoffs. He was 18 for 66 that spring, simply 27.3 p.c.

Otherwise, Simmons stands alone proper now on the subject of foul-line futility.


Highlights of Game 5 within the Eastern Conference semi-final sequence between the Atlanta Hawks and the Philadelphia 76ers

Simmons’s 10 misses from the road in Game 5 had been essentially the most by any participant in any NBA sport this season. In Philadelphia’s three losses to Atlanta on this sequence, he is a mixed 8 for 29 from the foul line. The 76ers have misplaced these video games by a complete of 10 factors.

76ers coach Doc Rivers has even needed to take Simmons out late in some video games, together with Game 5, as a result of the probability of him getting deliberately despatched to the road and lacking free throws is simply too dangerous.

“When Ben makes them, we get to keep him in,” Rivers mentioned. “When he doesn’t, we can’t. And that’s just the way it is.”

Simmons has missed 45 free throws in 10 playoff video games. That’s greater than three complete groups have missed of their first 10 video games of this postseason; Atlanta missed 35, Phoenix missed 29 and Brooklyn missed 22. The Los Angeles Clippers have missed 46, as a group, via 12 video games.

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Simmons, the No. 1 general decide within the 2016 draft, has by no means been an distinctive foul shooter; he is at all times been between 56 p.c and 62 p.c in every of his professional seasons. And it wasn’t a giant difficulty within the first half of this season, when he was taking pictures 67 p.c on the All-Star break. February matched the perfect free-throw-shooting month of his profession with him going 45 of 64, a 70 p.c clip.

But he shot 53 p.c after the break and has seen the numbers proceed to plummet within the playoffs. He’s undecided why, both.

“No idea about any of that,” Simmons mentioned. “It’s on me.”


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