Joel Embiid says 76ers must step outside comfort zones, space the floor and shoot
Since their inspiring Christmas win over the Bucks, the 76ers have lost three straight. Philadelphia players are talking about accountability and looking in the mirror. Though stronger than the usual rhetoric, it’s still vague.
Joel Embiid appeared to send a more pointed message to Ben Simmons.
I hope Embiid is talking about Simmons. Because Embiid will never convince anyone he’s not talking about Simmons.
Simmons’ lack of 3-point shooting has made him a punchline.
It was a big deal when Simmons made a 3-pointer a few weeks ago. 76ers coach Brett Brown said he wanted the unconventional point guard to attempt at least one 3-pointer per game from there. In 13 games since, Simmons has taken zero non-heave 3-pointers.
That’s a big reason Philadelphia’s offense sometimes looks clunky. Simmons is a good player whose open-court skills and defense help his team. But his complete lack of outside shooting often cramps spacing for his teammates.
Will Embiid’s comment inspire Simmons to shoot more? Or will Simmons, who’s clearly unconfident hoisting from the perimeter, become even more reluctant?
Embiid’s default strategy is usually talking more. We’ll see how that works when roping in Simmons.