Philadelphia 76ers point guard, Ben Simmons has put up fair and balanced numbers through seven games of his games played during the NBA season.
For those keeping score at home: Simmons is averaging 13.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 6.9 assists.
Simmons has been sidelined with a Grade 1 AC joint sprain in his right shoulder and is hoping to make a return to the court. The Sixers point guard hurt his shoulder in the first quarter of the 76ers’ 106-104 loss to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday.
“I’m going to make sure I’m 100 percent before I come back, though,” Simmons said Friday night.
Smart. The season is still young.
The 6’8 Aussie received an entry pass in the high post, spun right to make a move and banged his right shoulder into the chest of the Utah Jazz’s Royce O’Neale.
Simmons left the game in the first half. Yahoo Sports reported that Simmons will miss games next week against the Charlotte Hornets and Cleveland Cavaliers.
Simmons is important to this Sixers team who have aspirations of making it to the NBA Finals. This summer they added Al Horford, Josh Richardson and re-signed Tobias Harris to an anchored team that includes Simmons and big man, Joel Embiid.
Much has been made about Simmons’ ability to shoot the basketball at a high clip and how it could make the 76ers successful.
“If you take [jump shots], [teams] give you a little bit more respect,” Simmons told 97.5 The Fanactic’s Brian Seltzer last season.
“And you’re able to make more moves and dissect the defense,” Simmons said. “This summer, I’ve been working a lot on certain things that I’ll definitely use.”
Worth noting: Of the 77 shots that Simmons took through Philadelphia’s first six games, only three of them came from outside 10 feet, and he missed all three of those shots.
CBS Sports notes that Simmons took 18 shots from 5-9 feet and made just five of those, while the vast majority of his attempts have come directly at the rim.
“Well Ben’s gotta work on his jump shot,” NBA Hall of Famer and TNT analyst, Charles Barkley tells me.
“He can be good player without a jump-shot. But to be a great player with a jump-shot, he has to learn to shoot the ball. So, I already picked the Sixers to get to the finals, so it’s gonna be interesting. I”m counting on it.”
T.J Kidd, son of Lakers assistant coach and NBA Hall of Famer Jason Kidd thinks similarly: “I think Ben Simmons is great and I think shooting 3’s doesn’t have to be his game,” Kidd told me.
“Once he gets an outside shot, I think he’ll be okay.”
He would know. His dad struggled early in his career as a shooter. Kidd found his niche later in his career.
Sixers coach, Brett Brown likes his chances with his point guard.
“I want to give him a chance to be spaced,” Brown said in September.
“You’re probably going to see him in one of the corners, but I’m going to start there. We’re going to encourage him to shoot 3s, and we’re going to encourage him … if he sees a straight-line drive, take off and eat it up. I think I can help him use the space in both of those ways.”
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