Ben Simmons on Shooting 3’s: ‘I’m Going to Get There Over Time’
Sixers fans want Ben Simmons to shoot.
The second year guard has yet to attempt a three-point shot this season and hasn't made one (0-11) in any of his 119 career NBA games, but he says it is coming.
Before the Season Simmons said he wanted to make sure he mastered his scoring around the rim, before he started to add the three-point shot to his repertoire. In 38 games this season, Simmons is connecting on 57% of his shots, most of which come from inside the painted area.
"I think just getting comfortable with my game, and evolving over time, and it starts day-by-day, Simmons said on NBA TV before the Sixers Dec 30 game in Portland. "It not something I'm going to start jumping into and start doing. I'm going to get there over time. I've been working every day, working hard and getting everything right, trying to get better, trying to lead this team."
Simmons is averaging nearly a triple-double every night he plays for the Sixers with 16.3 points, 9.1 rebounds and 7.9 assists he is clearly a special talent. But it appears the more and more he plays, without the assistance of a jump-shot, there will be people critical of his game.
Some choose to focus one some of the things he doesn't do, like shoot the ball, but Simmons understands at this stage of his young NBA career, the best way for him to impact a game is by dominating the painted area and worry about adding other aspects to his game down-the-road.
"I know I am going to get to that level, it takes a lot of work and dedication," said Simmons. "But for me its about playing the game and having fun, trying to evolve and not worrying about all that outside noise."
Make no mistake, Simmons was not taken with the No. 1 overall pick to shoot three-point shots, but he and his coaches understand he needs to add that element to his game.
"I think it comes down to just time," Simmons said. "This is my second-year of playing. So for me, I'm not forcing anything. It's going to happen over time. I'm gonna continue to get better, coaches do want me to take more shots. I don't want to be the selfish guy on the team, but I understand if its going to help the team get better than i'm willing to do that."
Simmons does work on the three-point shot before games during the Sixers pregame warm-ups, I have seen him with my own two eyes. But in case you don't believe me, here is some video of him working on his shot before a recent game in Utah against the Jazz (he actually hits 4-of-5 in the video).
In the end, hopefully fans can appreciate the unique talent Simmons is at this stage and continue to enjoy watching him and this team grow together.
Consider a player like Blake Griffin, the former No. 1 overall pick in the draft.
Griffin was a very athletic player, who struggled outside of the paint his first six years in the league. He was labeled a high-flying, dunker. A player who was able to use his athletic ability to score and be a all-star level player in the league, but not really a complete player.
During that time, Griffin attempted just 155 three-point shots, making 42 good for just 27%. It wasn't until Griffin's seventh season in the league that he even attempted more than one, three-point shot per game.
In Griffin eighth year in the league he went from 1.9 three-point attempts per game to 5.6. It didn't happen over night, but now in his ninth NBA season, he is attempting 6.4 three's per game and hitting on 36%.
Now in his ninth NBA season, he is having his best, most complete season, scoring a career high 24.8 points per game.
So for the Simmons haters out there, there is hope, just try to remain patient, and understand he is 22 with only 119 games of NBA experience under-his-belt.