Free Throws Galore: NBA world complains over new-look 76ers ability to get to the charity stripe
The new-look 76ers are officially 2-0 after yesterday’s win against the New York Knicks, and every single NBA “casual” couldn’t be more upset at how Philly got the job done. In case you missed it, the combined efforts of Joel Embiid and James Harden got the 76ers a ton of free throws over the last two games and almost everyone who’s not a 76ers fan has something negative to say about it.
It seems like the new James Harden-Joel Embiid led 76ers are becoming the new villains of the NBA, and the elite Philly duo’s ability to get to the charity stripe really pushes that moniker. In the win from the Garden, the 76ers as a team shot 44 free throws with 37 of them coming from Embiid and Harden.
In fact, Embiid set a new career high in free throws made hitting 23 of his 27 shots from the stripe.
What doesn’t get talked about a lot is the fact that this game was overall a huge free throw contest. The Knicks had their fair share of time at the line as well, attempting 35 shots from the stripe. Nobody cares about that though because for starters the Knicks are a bad team and also shot a terrible 62.9 percent from the line. Philly converted on all but just four of their 44 free throws (88.6%).
Maybe it is the fact that NBA casuals are upset they can’t make the same three Ben Simmons jokes about the 76ers anymore, so now they turned to the free throws conversation.
Who would’ve thought an early-afternoon Sunday game could piss so much of the NBA world off so quickly? The funniest part is the fact that this dominance from the line from the two Sixers stars was obvious before they teamed up.
Joel Embiid in his career averages 9.4 free throw attempts per game, with this season seeing the big man at the line nearly 12 times a game. James Harden during his peak in Houston averaged 13.2 and 12.4 shots from the charity stripe himself, so what did people expect to happen when they both took the court together?
Then again, who would expect NBA fans on Twitter to do any research about free throws before pressing send.
The modern NBA has made it a point to get rid of a few offensive exploitations players could utilize to draw fouls, and this 76ers team still manages to piss off the masses.
It’s not like Harden and Embiid are pulling a Trae Young, pump faking then jumping into defenders before chucking the ball up. Joel is battling through double teams and heavy press defense on the low post when he draws his fouls.
James Harden is catching defenders off-balance with his handles before blowing by them or stepping back into a triple when he’s fouled.
The whining from the NBA community is really unjustified, and personally not going to matter in the long run. If you don’t enjoy watching the 76ers win, just say it. Nobody in Philadelphia is going to care about salty Nets fans watching Embiid and Harden ball out on a nightly basis (by the way where’s Ben Simmons at?).
The Sixers are going to stack up shots at the foul line regardless.
The simple answer to the sheer amount of free throws Harden and Embiid took last night is the duo is un-guardable. Defenses don’t know hot to slow down either All-Star outside of committing fouls, especially not the Knicks who have now lost 15 of their last 18 games.
There is also an equally simple fix to keeping the 76ers away from the foul line for future games:
Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports