Game 4 was an adjustment game for Scott Brooks and the Washington Wizards. It all started with the insertion of Daniel Gafford into the starting lineup, his first start as a member of the Wizards. It ended with the debut of a defense we hadn’t seen from the Wizards until Game 4: Hack-a-Ben. Oh, and that also ended in a win.
In the final three minutes of Game 4, the Wizards sent Simmons to the line four times. During these trips he went 4/8.
At one point in Game 4, it actually looked like the Wizards could be heading for a comfortable win. That was until Tyrese Maxey and Furkan Korkmaz erased a 12-point lead from the Wizards in the fourth quarter. With the game tied and the lead lost, Brooks stopped giving the 76ers offensive chances and started getting Ben Simmons to win everything on the line.
It is difficult to dispute the strategy given that it has worked. When the Wizards started hacking Simmons with 2:47 left, the game was tied 108-108. By the time the Wizards gave up on him, they were up 118-112. They ultimately won 122-114. However, 76ers coach Doc Rivers didn’t seem overly concerned with how the Wizards singled out Simmons.
Those numbers call for more Hack-a-Ben, but Rivers argues that the 76ers get one point per possession on Simmons’ free kicks. Better than nothing, right?
In Ben Simmons’ four seasons in the NBA, he has never shot better than 62.5% from the foul line for an entire season. This season, he shot 61.3% of the charity strip. In the fourth game he shot 45.5% from the line, and in this series he only shot 25% from the line.
Well, based on their offensive rating according to NBA.com, here’s how the 76ers have fared in points per possession during the regular season and so far this series …
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- Keep Hacking Ben Simmons is a professional basketball player
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