Ben Simmons hasn’t attempted a three-pointer in a regular-season game. But his shot was looking silky smooth at practice. Again.
The Sixers guard seemed to put Philadelphia on notice when he drained a trey in a preseason game versus China on Oct. 8. He reluctantly fired that one up after some much-needed egging on from his teammates. It was a perfect swish, no doubt about it. But Simmons hasn’t attempted another one since that fateful night at the Wells Fargo Center.
After Tuesday’s practice, the 23-year-old stuck around to work on his shot and hit four 3-pointers in a row from the right baseline. Rookie Matisse Thybulle can be seen playfully “dabbing” as the last shot hits the bottom of the net.
Sixers fans have been growing frustrated with Simmons’ unwillingness to work on his outside shot. The team has been up big early in the season, with plenty of garbage time en route to a 5-1 record, yet the Aussie star has refused to shoot. He’s only jacked up 17 total shots from beyond the arc since entering the NBA in 2017, with none of them connecting for three points. He hasn’t taken a single 3-pointer this year.
Simmons Not Attempting Anything Outside of 15 Feet
Do a quick search on Twitter for “Ben Simmons 3-pointer” and the results will entertain for hours. In fact, grab some popcorn first. Sixers fans, along with a few media members, are tired of hearing about how hard Simmons worked on his shot this summer. He’s still not shooting in games. Until he does, Simmons will never seriously compete for NBA MVP.
As PhillyVoice’s Kyle Neubek pointed out, the majority of his jumpers are fadeaway shots from 12-feet and closer. He has shown zero interest in stepping behind the arc, outside his normal comfort zone. It’s hurting his teammates’ ability to get open looks, as well as how teams guard against him.
His interest in the three-point line is still zero, his attempts at jumpers are almost exclusively of the ugly, fading away from 12 feet variety, and through six games he is getting to the free-throw line less than last season. The Sixers used him early and often as a screener for Tobias Harris against Phoenix, and not once did Simmons consider popping out to the three-point line as a response to Aron Baynes playing 10 feet off of him.
Simmons is a superstar in the making, but he needs to add a 3-point shot to his arsenal. And fast.
Sixers Could Really Use Another Outside Threat
Despite the Sixers’ amazing start to the season, fans are growing increasingly frustrated with Ben Simmons. Yes, he is averaging close to a triple-double every night — 15.2 points per game, along with 6.3 rebounds and 7.8 assists — but the lack of improving upon a weakness is a problem.
Making matters worse, the Sixers lack a real threat from downtown. The Sixers rank 21st in the NBA in 3-pointers made (64-of-191 for 33.5%) while relying on guys like Al Horford and Tobias Harris and Furkan Korkmaz to jack up the treys.
In Monday night’s loss to Phoenix — with the game on the line, trailing by six points late in the fourth quarter — the team drew up a designed 3-point play for Korkmaz. The Turkish star also hit the game-winning three in Sunday night’s come-from-behind win. They need Simmons to step up.
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