Before we begin here, it’s important to realise that the NBA has absolutely no distinction between strikes that are a light, incidental graze, and a wild, orbital bone-shattering haymaker. Every bodily blow is equal and the same in the eyes of the league and its fans, and every one is viewed as an appalling slight on par with treason. So with that said we address the burning question of the day: Did Ben Simmons purposefully cannon his elbow into the plums of Kyle Lowry or nah?

The Sixers had a day out against Toronto in game three of their Eastern Conference semifinal matchup, routing a fairly insipid Raptors in the last quarter to secure a 116 – 95 victory, taking a 2 games to 1 lead in the series in the process.

But that all matters little, because the main talking point from the game is whether or not Ben Simmons, born in Fitzroy, rattled the jimmies of Toronto star Kyle Lowry.

The pair got entangled mid-way during the second quarter with Simmons going to ground after Lowry boxed him out. In the process of picking himself back up, this happened:

The reverse angle shot there is the only one that shows the blow landing with any force, and it seems like it was a precision strike that landed flush on the agates.

Lowry spent a considerable amount of time on the deck recovering – counting, but presumably not rubbing, ’em – and the nut shot capped off a pretty dirty night for Lowry, who managed just 7 points on the night.

There’s a fair argument to be made that Simmons put his elbow up because there was a very large human being on top of him and the contact with, I cannot overstate this, Lowry’s fucking nutsack was incidental at best and at absolute worst a little careless.

But as far as the NBA-viewing jury was concerned, the verdict was simple: Outrageous cheap shot, Simmons is dirty, and so on, and so on, forever.

And to all that the only reasonable response is: It’s a ball sport.

A ball sport.

Balls.

Image: Getty Images / Mitchell Leff