76ers

Sixers' Ben Simmons makes first regular-season NBA three-pointer

Sixers' Ben Simmons makes first regular-season NBA three-pointer

The 172nd game of Ben Simmons' NBA career was the charm.

Simmons knocked down a three-pointer from the right corner Wednesday night in the first quarter of the Sixers' game against the New York Knicks, the first regular-season three of his professional career.

He made his one and only three-point attempt of the preseason, a jumper from the right wing that gave the Sixers a 41-point halftime lead over the Guangzhou Loong-Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association. 

“He’s one of the best shooters to ever shoot the basketball,” Tobias Harris said after that shot. “Let it fly. He’s 100 percent from three, so I don’t want to hear nothing.”

Simmons is now 100 percent this regular season, too.

A three in a game that actually counts means quite a bit more for the 23-year-old Simmons, who's coming off his first All-Star appearance and averaged 16.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 7.7 assists per game last season. His longest make this season had been from seven feet away heading into Wednesday.

When asked about the prospect of shooting threes this season at media day, Simmons had said, "If it's open, I'll take it."

He did just what he said he would Wednesday night.

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Allen Iverson's take on the LeBron-Jordan debate isn't as controversial as you think

Allen Iverson's take on the LeBron-Jordan debate isn't as controversial as you think

Thanks to ESPN airing "The Last Dance" this summer, every basketball fan in the world is dusting off their favorite Michael Jordan memory.

And, because sports fans are nothing if not constantly combative, those stories are being used to try and keep LeBron James down. It's just how the Jordan-LeBron argument goes these days.

On Tuesday, Sixers legend Allen Iverson - someone who faced both James and Jordan - briefly touched on the neverending debate, and accidentally set the internet on fire.

And, as is often the case, Iverson didn't get a fair deal.

Iverson appeared on Fat Joe's Instagram Live show Tuesday, where Iverson and Joe talked for more than 70 minutes. But one clip was shared all over, in which Iverson touched on how he feels about Jordan and James: 

Sounds pretty juicy, right? One of the league's biggest icons possibly endorsing James over Jordan?

If you go back to the 1:03:30 mark of the talk, however, you'll see this isn't what happened. Because here's the full quote:

I'm not gonna fight what's the best. I'm not gonna fight. Like, much as I love Michael Jordan, dog, LeBron James is the one, dog. He the one. That m**********r is the one. Kevin Durant is the one, man. The one. He's like that. 

And the lead-in to that comment from Iverson? He was talking about appreciating Michael Jackson's music, saying he'd listen to Jackson's songs before games. He was talking about being a fan of what's great, and being able to appreciate current greatness while also appreciating previous greatness.

Frankly, it's a great way to approach the Jordan-LeBron debate! A nuanced take from a very nuanced guy. Michael Jordan was amazing. LeBron James is amazing. You can appreciate both, and more people should try to view them separately instead of qualifying their accomplishments against each other.

So let's just appreciate Iverson's take for what it is, instead of creating bonus arguments where they don't exist.

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How to watch Sixers at Wizards: Storylines, live stream, game time and more

How to watch Sixers at Wizards: Storylines, live stream, game time and more

The Sixers will hope they can improve to 2-1 in the NBA’s “bubble” on Wednesday without as much drama as was required in Monday’s night win over the Spurs.

Mike Scott is out for the third straight game because of right knee soreness and Glenn Robinson III is doubtful with a left hip pointer for today’s game against the Wizards. 

Here are the essentials:

When: 4 p.m. ET with Sixers Pregame Live at 3 
Where: The Arena at the World Wide of Sports Complex 
Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia Plus
Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app

And here are three storylines to watch:

Another shorthanded opponent 

For the Sixers’ first two seeding games, the Pacers were missing All-Star Domantas Sabonis and the Spurs were without LaMarcus Aldridge. Washington is down its top two scorers, Bradley Beal (right rotator cuff injury) and Davis Bertans (opted out), and is 0-3 so far at Disney World.

The 24-43 Wizards are the Sixers’ easiest matchup in the seeding games — at least on paper. 

A refreshed Harris 

Tobias Harris attempted a season-high 29 field goals in the Sixers’ first seeding game, including eight threes. Against San Antonio, he scored 25 points. 

He’s playing with the committed aggression Brown and the Sixers want to see, and he said Monday that’s a byproduct of a mental reset while he was away from basketball. The physical rest also likely didn’t hurt for a player who was leading the league in minutes before the NBA’s hiatus. 

“To be honest, I just have a brand-new confidence in myself, in my game, knowing what I’m capable of,” he said. “I’m just going to continue to reach different levels. For me, it’s going out there and establishing that each and every day. Through the pandemic, being able to be home and not being able to be in the gym, there were moments and opportunities for me to really work on my mental game and get myself in a place where I know what to expect. 

“Now, I’m just fueling off that confidence every day, continuing to tell myself who I want to be, what I want to be and how I want our team to go. It’s just a confidence thing, and I’m having fun playing this game that I love.” 

Waiting on the best version of Simmons 

Foul trouble played a major role last game, but Ben Simmons’ opening two seeding games have not quite gone as planned. Opponents have shot 17 of 24 when defended by him. Brown wants Simmons to be getting to the foul line more as a nominal power forward, and yet the two-time All-Star didn’t attempt a foul shot in 25 minutes vs. the Spurs. He hasn’t taken a three-pointer either despite the “paradigm shift” Brown said he’s seen in Simmons’ mindset. 

The Sixers in these seeding games are aiming to both nail down who will fill specific postseason roles and have players acclimate to new ones. This should be a good chance for Simmons to have his first big game at Disney World as a starting power forward. 

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