Herb Magee

Hall of Fame coach Herb Magee analyzes Ben Simmons' free throw shooting

Hall of Fame coach Herb Magee analyzes Ben Simmons' free throw shooting

“I think really the test is what you do at the foul line," according to Herb Magee.

The Hall of Fame coach with the nickname of "The Shot Doctor" knows a thing or two about shooting.

He talked with Amy Fadool recently about Ben Simmons' heavily scrutinized shot and analyzed the 23-year-old's form from the foul line.

Simmons bumped his free throw percentage from 56 percent as a rookie to 60 percent last season.

"I wish he would have experienced greater improvement because I believe his work warranted that," Brett Brown said in May.

The implications of Simmons knocking down free throws at a higher rate would be significant.

“If he gets it up to 75 [percent], maybe even 80, it’s going to add a point or two to his average," Magee said, "but also it’s going to stop teams from fouling him at the end of games to try to get the basketball.”

So, what does Magee see wrong in Simmons' foul shot and how can the All-Star point guard improve it?

Watch the video above for his analysis. 

And, if you want to learn from Magee himself, he has a clinic coming up on Aug. 18 at Jefferson University for players eight to 18 years old, and for coaches as well. Click here for information about how to register. 

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An appointment with the Shot Doctor, Herb Magee, to talk Ben Simmons' shot

An appointment with the Shot Doctor, Herb Magee, to talk Ben Simmons' shot

It’s been the summer of the Sixers, with max contracts, classic uniforms and a successful draft. 

Oh, and Ben got a new jump shot. 

Certainly not lost in the busy offseason are the many social media posts of Ben Simmons’ new-and-improved jumper, something fans have been clamoring for since the All-Star was drafted No. 1 overall in 2016. The man got that money this summer — and now it seems like he got the J too. 

You know what else fans have been clamoring for? Herb Magee to work with Simmons.  So, is the jump shot new and improved? Who better to examine it than the Shot Doctor (name patent pending)? 

Magee, the Hall of Fame basketball coach at Jefferson (formerly Philadelphia University) has been asked on nearly a daily basis for three years running, to look at Simmons’ shot and work with him to improve it. 

Tweets, Facebook posts, in-person requests — Magee has seen and heard it all. So, I wanted him to see the new shot. Naturally, I made an appointment with the Shot Doctor at his annual shooting camp. 

Magee diagnosed the shortfall of Simmons’ shot and saw the improvement in the form, specifically the holding of the shooting hand, in the Instagram videos.

“He is making them, and the ball seems to have the proper arc, it’s properly spinning, and it looks like he’s attempting to finish his shot,” Magee assessed. “Once that happens and he starts to get confidence, then he’ll start making them, without question.”

Prognosis: Improving. And Sixers fans will want to see nightly check-ups. 

For more of Magee’s breakdown of Simmons’ shot, check out the video above.

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Legendary shot doctor weighs in on Markelle Fultz

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Legendary shot doctor weighs in on Markelle Fultz

The Sixers have treated the Markelle Fultz situation like he's an international spy. Information has been hard to come by. Updates have been infrequent, to put it mildly.

As the days and weeks go by with the only footage of Fultz being practice video, the Sixers have invited speculation. They've invited criticism.

And while Herb Magee doesn't have any insider info on Fultz, the legendary shot doctor's opinion on Fultz has value.

Deadspin interviewed Magee about Fultz. You can read the full article here.

Below are some of the standout quotes from Magee:

Fultz wasn't a great shooter, even prior to this
"I would never put him in the category of a great shooter, even when he played in college," Magee said. 

"First of all, great shooters do not shoot 65 percent at the foul line. If you’re going a whole season and shooting 65 percent from the foul line, you can’t be in the category of a great shooter. The only real test for a shooter is foul shooting and three-point shooting. You can’t go by percentages. If you think back when Shaq played, he was probably shooting like 60 percent from the field and 40 percent from the foul line, (Ed.: 58 and 52) because he was shooting in-close and dunks. 

"JJ Redick shoots like 94 percent from the foul line, Kevin Durant, close to 90, Curry is like 93, so to think that this kid is gonna be a Steph Curry or a JJ Redick, certainly not at this time, even if his shoulder isn’t bothering him. There’s no reason to think that he couldn’t improve, but a great shooter does not shoot 65 percent from the foul line."

The hitch in Fultz's giddy-up
"You can see he’s developed a hitch, and it’s more like a push shot, rather than a shot. The one that shows with his shoulder taped, you can see that as he goes to shoot, he brings it up into a position you would not do if you were a good shooter, and he kind of pushes the ball towards the basket. And the results were like — I think he shot it and completely missed the rim. That’s impossible. That’s an impossibility.

"I don’t know. Obviously, he has somebody that teaches him. He had the same guy in college and high school, from what I’ve read. He must have a lot of faith in the guy. Obviously, it’s in his head right now."

Forgetting how to shoot
"No, no, no. I have not seen that. Especially a kid on that level. He was the top guy in the draft, he was a college All-American. And the consensus top guy, from what I understand. What’s going on with that youngster right now... I’ve seen guys go into slumps, but not someone who would drastically change his shot to the point that he would hurt his shoulder number one, and number two, that he could not make a shot."

" ... I think the problem with Fultz is simply in his head. I think the only way to get it out of his head would be working in closely, shooting one-handed, and try to rebuild it right from the ground.

"I’ve never heard of it, I will say that to you. I’ve never heard of a guy on his level, and a guy as accomplished as he was in college just completely lose his shot."

Magee has been coaching for 51 years at Philadelphia University (which is now called Jefferson University).

Can Fultz get by without a jumper?
"He can get places, that’s for sure. But if you get places, you better be able to make shots. Unless you’re like Ben Simmons, who can get there and dunk it. Fultz is a guard. Ben Simmons is a guard, but he’s a revolutionary guard, more like LeBron James. But Fultz is a slasher type of kid. He needs a jump shot, he really does. And you’re gonna get fouled, and you gotta make foul shots."