Four games into the 2020-21 NBA season, it hasn’t been an encouraging time for Philadelphia 76ers fans still hoping, against all odds, that Ben Simmons might finally develop a jump shot.
Per NBA.com, the Sixers star point guard hasn’t attempted a shot more than 14 feet away from the basket this season. He hasn’t made a shot more than nine feet from the basket. He hasn’t attempted a single catch-and-shoot attempt from anywhere on the court.
None of this should be surprising at this point. Simmons’ offensive limitations have been infamous since he was drafted, and they persist four years later despite the Sixers’ best efforts. Stories about Simmons making progress with his shot are basically an annual tradition.
Don’t expect Ben Simmons to start shooting
The change in leadership for the Sixers might have been the best chance for a Simmons renaissance given new president Daryl Morey’s love of the 3-pointer, but that hasn’t been the case so far. Another newcomer, head coach Doc Rivers, doesn’t seem to mind as long as his team is winning games.
From Sixers Wire:
“I could care less,” Rivers said. “I’ll let you guys talk about what Ben doesn’t do. I just want Ben to keep playing great defense, running our team, and winning games.”
That stance is somewhat undermined by the Sixers having lost their last two games, but it seems to be an indication that Rivers is comfortable with what Simmons is.
Following a loss to the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday, Rivers said he was more concerned with the shots his 3-point specialists were missing:
“I want to win,” Rivers said bluntly. “I swear, someone taught me this long ago, you win the game. You keep winning games and you don’t worry about who scores. Ben missed some great shots tonight and if he had converted two or three of the layups that he made and got to the foul line a little bit more, he would have been fine. We played good offense tonight. We just couldn’t make shots like literally by our shooters, so that’s all I’m concerned with.”
Simmons attempted 11 3-pointers in his rookie season, six in his second season and seven last season. He has made just two of them, both last year. Former Sixers coach Brett Brown said after the second make that he wanted to see Simmons attempting one 3-pointer a game in the future, but that probably won’t be the case with Rivers.
The idea of a player with Simmons’ size, passing and defense also developing a jump shot will always be tantalizing, but that just doesn’t seem to be in Simmons’ future.
Here’s Ben Simmons attempting a deep shot by his standards. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
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