In his 33 games since, Simmons has attempted two 3-pointers.
Not two per game. Two total. And both were end-of-quarter desperation shots.
Simmons agreed to work with a sports psychologist, while Sixers personnel, friends and teammates have tried — and failed — to instill the necessary impudence to get him over the hump.
“I know it’s going to come,” Simmons says. “It’s a matter of me being comfortable doing it. Some of that is getting the reps in. I can take a hook shot from the elbow, because I’ve done it so many times, I’m confident it will go in. It’s second nature.
“With 3s, it’s never been like that. I’ve got to make it a point of emphasis. I could be one of those guys shooting 30% right now. But I’d rather be one of those guys shooting 40%.”
“Some people put so much emphasis on it,” Simmons says. “It’s a little too much. It made me back check and say, ‘Let me focus on what I’m good at.’ There are things I do on the court where nobody can stop me, when I’m putting up steals, assists, scoring in the paint.”
Simmons is right: Some people put too much emphasis on his shooting. He’s a star – an excellent and versatile defender, a sharp passer, a strong attacker.
But the 76ers would be better if Simmons at least shot enough 3-pointers to keep defenses honest. As is, his reluctance from the perimeter jams spacing and frustrates teammates.
I applaud him for seeing a sports psychologist. That might help. He’s showing he truly cares about being the best player he can be.