Update time：2021-09-08 19:47Tag: free cash games
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PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 08: Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers attempts a free throw … [+] against the Guangzhou Long Lions during the preseason game at the Wells Fargo Center on October 8, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
For Philadelphia guard Ben Simmons, the critiques of his shooting percentage and technique are nothing new. Now with his 76ers face elimination, the 24-year-old finds himself under a new kind of scrutiny as his inability to hit even the most basic of shots has made one of Philadelphia’s main weapons relatively unplayable down the stretch.
Just how bad has Simmons been? So bad, in fact, that odds makers are letting you bet on his free throw percentage in Game 6 of the 76ers-Hawks playoff series.
Lined at -120 on both the over and under, BetOnline.AG is letting fans bet on Simmons topping or falling under the 50% mark with his free throw attempts, and given recent history, this could be easy money.
Simmons went 4-for-14 from the free throw line in Wednesday night’s Game 5 collapse to the Atlanta Hawks. Philly’s 26-point lead evaporated as the Hawks once again began to target Simmons, purposefully sending the poor foul shooter to the free throw line.
Following Wednesday’s loss, Simmons is shooting 32.8% from the line in the 2021 playoffs, having gone 22 for 67. This dismal number is more than concerning, it is historic.
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Wednesday’s performance sees Simmons become the worst free throw shooter in past season history with at least 67 attempts. Even Shaquille O’Neal and his notoriously poor stroke from the line managed to net 37.4% of his attempts from the charity stripe in Miami’s 2006 Championship playoff run.
While the referenced stat sounds somewhat limiting by sample size, a recorded 804 players have taken more than 67 free throws in a single playoff season. Of the 804 qualifying instances, a percentage lower than 40% has only been seen four other times – once by the aforementioned O’Neal, with Wilt Chamberlain holding the remaining three instances.
Naturally, Atlanta’s approach draws comparison to the “Hack-a-Shaq” strategy implemented by teams who preferred to take their chances with O’Neal at the line rather than an easy two in the paint.
Coach Doc Rivers finds himself in an unusual predicament late in games in having to decide how and when his star defensive player should remain on the court.
“When Ben makes them, we get to keep him in. When he doesn’t, we can’t. And that’s just the way it is.”
With big man Joel Embiid battling through a meniscus tear, the Sixers must receive some support from Simmons if they hope to avoid elimination in tonight’s Game 6.
Per the score predictor at OddsShark, Philly should have a small enough advantage that sees them advance to the Eastern Conference Finals and cover the small -3 point spread.
This tool projects a 114 to 110 win Sixers win, but in games decided by such a small margin, foul shots always come in to play. If we are to put any true weight on this score projection and point spread, Ben Simmons will likely find himself alone at the foul line with the game on the line once more.
“Definitely, I think mental,” said Simmons when asked to justify the recent slump.
For bettors who have found themselves losing out on what appeared to be all but won matchups, at least they can find some mental release by hedging their Sixers bets with a toss on Ben Simmons’ charity stripe performance.
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