Bulls player pulled a ‘Ben Simmons’ by passing up WIDE OPEN layup for missed 3

The fall of Ben Simmons started with a refusal to throw down a wide-open dunk. The infamous Simmons blunder happened in the fourth quarter of Game 7 between the Philadelphia 76ers and Atlanta Hawks in the second round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. The Sixers would lose the game and the series, and afterwards, Philly head coach Doc Rivers and superstar center Joel Embiid more or less threw Simmons under the bus for his poor performance and stunning decision to pass out of uncontested basket. Simmons would never play another game for the team.

On Wednesday night, Chicago Bulls guard Jevon Carter had his own Ben Simmons moment — albeit without the same stakes. During the second quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Carter found himself wide open under the basket. Instead of taking the layup, he passed out to teammate Ayo Dosunmu for a three-point attempt, that he missed. Watch the play here:

The Bulls beat the Cavs, 132-123, in double overtime anyway. Carter could have saved his teammates a lot of extra work if he just took the easy two points.

There are times when hunting the three is the right move, but this was definitely not it. Carter has to take that layup. At least in Simmons’ instance, the Hawks pretended like they were going to foul him. There was zero contest on Carter when he decided to pass out. It was literally a free two points.

Carter is one of the smallest players in the league and not a great finisher at the rim. He lost his composure and got worried he was going to get stuffed. The Bulls have emphasized getting more threes up all season after finishing dead-last in three-point rate each of the last two years. This is a classic example of out-smarting yourself instead of just taking the bucket.

The Bulls are lucky they won. Carter might never have lived down passing on this bucket if they didn’t.

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