It was a response to a question about Ben Simmons’ health and when he might return to the floor, but the quote from Brett Brown also applies to the matter of the 24-year-old Australian’s willingness to attempt jump shots.
“I don’t know,” Brown said in February. “And it really is like how long is a piece of string — who knows? Who knows?”
Again, Brown and the Sixers have fed into the buzz about Simmons’ jumper. Brown has informed reporters that Simmons’ three-point shot is “looking good” in practice. In a video on his YouTube channel, the two-time All-Star seemed to tease an intent to shoot more jumpers at Disney World.
The gist of Simmons’ history as a jump shooter is that he hasn’t done it often or well. He’s made 6 of 34 shots this season from 10 feet and out, though he has bumped his free throw percentage up to 62.7 percent.
Two of those makes are from three-point range, the first long-distance successes of Simmons’ NBA career. Every time he’s taken a legitimate three, it’s been an event.
At media day in September, Simmons said his stance toward taking three-pointers this year would be, “If it’s open, I’ll take it.”
Now, almost 10 months later, he’s averaged 16.7 points, 8.2 assists and 7.8 rebounds per game, recovered from the aforementioned lower back injury during a pandemic that forced the NBA to suspend its season, and put together a strong case for a First Team All-Defense selection. He’s also yet to take open jumpers with any regularity.
With the Sixers set to play their first of three scrimmages on Friday afternoon against the Grizzlies, the video above traces how we got to this point with Simmons’ jumper.
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