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There’s no other player in the NBA quite like Ben Simmons.
A 6-10 point guard who’s equally prolific running an offense from the perimeter or finishing in the post, Simmons’ unique set of skills makes him special.
He’s just not great.
His deficiencies in perhaps the most fundamental skill of the game prevent him from reaching that echelon. He can’t shoot. He’s inept at the free throw line (55.8 percent) and unwilling from the 3-point line (17 career attempts).
As long as he’s not a threat to shoot from distance, defenders will find an edge being able to lay off him on the perimeter.
‘If it’s open, I’ll take it’
The truly great players come back from their summers having honed a new tool. It sounds like Simmons got that message and is ready to start shooting threes.
“If it’s open, I’ll take it,” Simmons told reporters Monday at Philadelphia 76ers media day.
Simmons showed off summer work on jump shot
Simmons’ message come a few weeks after he showed off his jump shot from the gym in a highlight reel, as if to tell everybody “see, I have been working on my jumper.”
Simmons doesn’t need to be a great shooter
How that work in the gym translates to an NBA court is yet to be seen. But the fact that he’s clearly focusing on his shot is encouraging news for 76ers fans.
Simmons doesn’t have to be a prolific shooter to take his game to the next level. He just has to be competent. And willing.
If defenders are forced to respect his shot from the perimeter, then that will open up more avenues for Simmons to excel at what makes him special — playmaking and finishing at the rim.
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