The Philadelphia 76ers have silenced any critics they may have had with their play so far this season. After their embarrassing dismissal from the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs last year to the Boston Celtics in 4 games.
They looked to revamp the entire team after firing coach Brett Brown and bringing in Doc Rivers along with coveted general manager Daryl Morey on huge deals. And Shaking up the roster through additions such as Seth Curry, Tyrese Maxey, Dwight Howard, And Danny Green.
And things could not have gone any better for the team with Joel Embiid looking like he could be a runaway favorite for the MVP award and Tobias Harris flirting with joining the “50-40-90 club” it seems everyone on the team has elevated themselves to new heights besides… Ben Simmons.
Simmons gets a pass from new 76ers head coach Doc
A seen in this draft profile for Ben Simmons one of his biggest weaknesses coming out of LSU was his ability to shoot the ball from three. Only attempting 3 three-pointers and making one throughout his college career but there was hope with coach Brett Brown and the 76ers could help him find that shooting touch. So far in year four for Ben Simmons, he flat out refuses to shoot the ball from range oftentimes to the detriment of his team in crunch-time half-court situations. Currently only having 30 attempts in four seasons and hitting three.
And Ben knows that for the Philadelphia 76ers to win a championship he will need any semblance of a jumper. Coach Brett Brown before last season had this to say about Ben Simmons shooting to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps:
This is what I want,” Brown said, ”and you can pass it along to his agent, his family and friends. I want a 3-point shot a game, minimum. The pull-up 2s … I’m fine with whatever is open. But I’m interested in the 3-point shot. The mentality that he has where he’s turning corners and taking that long step, that gather step, and bringing his shoulders to the rim and trying to dunk or finish tight, will equal higher efficiency, or getting fouled. That’s the world that interests me the most. Those two things.”Brett Brown, Former Philadelphia 76ers Head coach
Ben responded to his coach plea’s to shoot the ball by taking 7 total threes in the 57 games that he played in.
New coach Doc Rivers has a different approach. Rivers reportedly not having any worries about Ben and his lack of ability and desire to shoot the ball. We have seen what teams do to the Philadelphia 76ers in games that truly matter when ben is on the court. Even with the new addition’s to help with the spacing problems on the court Ben will remain a liability until he at least attempts to keep the defense from sagging off of him.
Simmons plays with no aggression
When Jimmy Butler was a member of the Philadelphia 76ers it was filled with very memorable moments both serious and light-hearted in his relationship with Ben Simmons. Jimmy like Coach Brett Brown and the fans of the Philadelphia 76ers really wanted ben to shoot the three. But also Jimmy was not impressed with his teammate’s aggression when it came to looking for his own scoring opportunities.
Flash forward to two years from that moment and Ben Simmons is currently averaging a career-low in shot attempts(9.5) and points per game(13.3). Ben Simmons has become complacent in the 76ers offense and with his growth and progression as a player. With all the physical tools that he possesses there shouldn’t be a reason that he doesn’t attempt at least ten shots a game.
Ben shows no aggression when it comes to making his presence known on the offense side beyond his play-making ability and looks to rather defer to Joel Embiid than contribute to scoring points himself. While the 76ers show no signs of slowing down their success in the regular season until Ben Simmons decides to take his next step in his evolution of a player I don’t see many finals appearances in the future for this team.