The knock on Ben Simmons’ game for years has been his inability to hit shots. Sure, he’s a 6’10 dude with the handle and basketball IQ of a guard and the tenacity on both ends of the floor to make him an All-Star as a second-year pro, but the belief is that until he can hit jumpers, his game will have a defined ceiling.
Simmons has attempted 18 threes in his NBA career, 17 during the regular season, one during the playoffs. None of them have gone in. This summer, we saw a bunch of videos on Instagram that suggested that his jumper was coming along. But of course, this doesn’t really matter until we see during basketball games that he can hit jumpers.
Well, friends, I am here to share with you the good news: Ben Simmons, finally, has hit a three. The Sixers are playing a preseason game in Philadelphia on Tuesday night against the Guangzhou Loong Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association. In the waning moments of the first half, Simmons rose up from downtown — the defense was, for lack of a better word, playing off of him — and canned a triple.
THIS IS NOT A DRILL.
BEN SIMMONS MADE A THREE.
THIS IS NOT A DRILL. pic.twitter.com/A2He5Ed75S
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) October 9, 2019
It’s a preseason game, but the home crowd went insane. Joel Embiid hugged him while he was getting back on defense with a gigantic grin on his face, and it legitimately looked like his teammates had to refrain from running out onto the floor.
The “Ben Simmons shoot a three you coward” thing has been prominent on Twitter for a while, but all jokes aside, it’s really cool to see how much work he’s put into improving this facet of his game, plus based on everyone’s reaction, you can tell that this is something his teammates are cognizant of and were hoping to see at some point. We’ll wait until the regular season tips off to see if Simmons feels good letting it fly, but for now, this was a great preseason moment.