Ben Simmons’ rookie year showed that he has the potential to become an undeniable superstar. If his game does have one glaring flaw, however, it’s his well-documented issues shooting the basketball. Simmons doesn’t have much of a jumper in his game, he didn’t hit any threes during his rookie campaign, and 56 percent clip from the free throw line left a whole lot to be desired.
Simmons is incredibly talented, but his jumper is a major achilles heel. It’s also rather odd, because while Simmons shoots layups and does things like throw balls with his right hand, Simmons shoots jumpers and free throws lefty.
Perhaps the answer is as simple as Simmons just needs to shoot with his “other” hand, too. According to Marc Stein of the New York Times in his latest mailbag, there are some people around the league who think Simmons agrees and will give that a whirl this season.
Stein whipped up an All-Lefty Team after Monday’s Left Handers Day and included Simmons among the squad of James Harden, Goran Dragic, Joe Ingles, DeAndre Jordan, and sixth man Manu Ginobili. Stein acknowledged that Simmons might be controversial because of his handedness on layups and other things, then dropped in this little nugget.
“Also remember: It’s August, people,” Stein wrote. “Don’t get too heated here — not over this. If Simmons goes all righty this season, as some expect, we will adjust.”
The concept of Simmons switching hands isn’t new — J.J. Redick said on his podcast earlier this year that he’s suggested the idea to the Rookie of the Year and that Simmons’ form with his left hand is worse than his form with his right hand. Perhaps this is something he’ll continuously tinker with during training camp and during the preseason, and seeing as how he struggled mightily from basically every area of the court that wasn’t within a few feet of the rim, the potential reward might outweigh the risk.