Sixers’ Tobias Harris Doubles-Down on Confidence in Ben Simmons
The past month has been an eventful one for some of the Philadelphia 76ers young stars. It started with the beginning of the NBA Free Agency period. When the clock struck six, veteran forward Tobias Harris inked a max deal, which will keep him in Philadelphia for the next five seasons. A week later, word got out that the Sixers were planning on investing in a future with Ben Simmons after departing from Jimmy Butler's max signing.
Eventually, the Sixers and Simmons agreed on a brand new extension, which will keep the former first-round pick in Philadelphia for another five seasons. Now, Simmons, Harris, and Joel Embiid are the three stars from last season, who are locked in for the long-run. While all three guys have their doubts from many who are outside of the Sixers organization, Harris, in particular, is excited for what could potentially transpire this year and beyond.
Concerns for Harris were that he is inconsistent. Therefore, many believe he isn't worth his new contract. Embiid's concerns haven't changed since he's been drafted, as he continues to fight through injuries. Ben Simmons has been healthy and consistently productive where his strengths are at, but as a guard, he has a massive hole in his game.
During his first two years on the Sixers, Ben Simmons hasn't utilized his jump shot. During year one, many believed that he didn't have a shot. Then, in year two, he put his talents in that department on display during practice and pregame warmups but refused to take chances during the games. Now, his teammate Tobias Harris has confirmed that Simmons can not only shoot consistently well, but he's also gaining confidence in his own game.
Last month, Tobias Harris took a trip out to Los Angeles to get a private workout in with Ben Simmons. After going one-on-one, Harris was excited to reveal to the public that Simmons looks much better than he did last season in terms of his shooting. Recently, some quick highlight videos of Simmons utilizing his jump shot in pickup games have surfaced the web. Although the strength of competition has been in question, there's no doubt that the evidence is there for Simmons' jump shot. It exists, and it is undoubtedly something to get excited about.
While appearing on FS1's First Things First on Monday, Harris decided to double-down on his Simmons take from earlier in the month regarding his new and improved game. In his eyes, Harris believes Simmons' lack of shooting came from a confidence standpoint, rather than an issue with ability.
"At that time for him, he just wasn't confident in shooting it," Harris mentioned when asked about Simmons' lack of shooting during last seasons run. "For him to add that element now where teams have to defend that and guard that and just know that he's going to be able to shoot, improves as a whole group. That's really going to help us for sure."
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for South Jersey's 97.3 ESPN. You can follow Justin on Twitter: @JGrasso_