Ben Simmons is 0-of-18 from three through his 182 NBA games (counting playoffs).
To be fair, eight of those shots were beyond halfcourt heaves, so he’s really just 0-of-10 from three through two NBA seasons. Which doesn’t sound a lot better, especially when you consider he shot 23.8 percent outside 10 feet last season.
This season Simmons is entering the season with a new confidence in his shot and he’s not going to hesitate when left open to take threes, he said at Philadelphia media day Monday (via Noah Levick at NBC Sports Philadelphia).
“No. I’m not going to come out and shoot threes,” he said… “It’s just a part of the game. If it’s open, I’ll take it.”
Other teams are going to let him until he proves he can make it, however just taking them does help move defenses around.
Simmons spent the summer in Los Angeles working on his game and on his jump shot with trainer Chris Johnson. That led to the expected — and meaningless — video of him hitting open jumpers in a run recently.
Doing that in a pickup game when open and doing it in an NBA game are two very different things. He’s going to have plenty of room to take that shot when the games start to matter.
Last season deep in the playoffs, when the ball was in Jimmy Butler‘s hands, Simmons was often relegated to the dunker’s spot along the baseline. With Butler taking his talents to South Beach, Simmons will be moved out of that space and when he doesn’t have the ball he will be in the corners, coach Brett Brown said recently. That sounds great, but unless he’s a threat to hit that shot — and he has never even taken an NBA corner three — teams are not going to respect it.
However, if Simmons has an even decent jumper this season, the Sixers just got a whole lot better.