In recent weeks, and especially the past few days, no other player in the NBA has faced more criticism than Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons. Now, one Major League Baseball team is joining in on the fun.
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During the Philadelphia Phillies’ wild 13-12 home loss against the rival Washington Nationals on Wednesday afternoon, Nats’ outfielder Kyle Schwarber blasted a game-tying three-run home run in the top of the fifth to knot the score at five. That led to this gem from the team’s official Twitter account.
Yeah, technically the dinger isn’t called a “three-pointer” – there are no “points” in baseball – but still, it’s close enough. Touché, Nationals. Touché.
Were the Nationals Standing up for the Washington Wizards?
The fact that the Nationals’ epic troll job of Simmons comes less than one month following the Sixers and Washington Wizards Eastern Conference first round playoff series is probably no coincidence. Simmons and the Sixers handled the eighth-seeded Wizards with ease in the opening round, taking the series in five games.
Perhaps the Nationals were trying to showing that, despite playing a completely different sport, the professional athletes of the nation’s capital are a brotherhood. Especially given how one particular fan treated one of the Wizards’ stars in Russell Westbrook during one game, it wouldn’t be a surprise if some in the D.C. area still hold resentment towards the Philadelphia teams as we whole.
In the Sixers’ 4-1 series victory over the Wizards by the way, Simmons averaged a near-triple-double of 14.8 points, 10.2 rebounds and 9.2 assists per game. He went 0-for-1 on three-pointers across the five games.
How Many 3-Pointers Did Simmons Attempt This Year?
If it hadn’t happened already this season, the Nationals are surely going to see other game-tying three run homers across their 162-game schedule. Given that they play their fellow NL East-foe Phillies more often than most other teams too, the likelihood of having another player blast a game-tying three-run shot in a head-to-head is almost a foregone conclusion.
What made Simmons an easy target wasn’t just that he was coming off of a tough playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks, and wasn’t just that he hardly ever makes shots from outside, but he very rarely even attempts three-pointers. In 1,193 minutes of action across 34 career playoff games, Simmons as astoundingly attempted just two shots from distance.
Unsurprisingly, he’s missed both of the attempts. When you expand the data to look at Simmons’ regular season numbers, he’s put up a whopping 34 three-point attempts in 9,326 career minutes in 275 games. Of the 34 shots from outside, he’s made only five of them, good for 14.7%.