The Philadelphia 76ers routed the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night despite the absence of Joel Embiid and Josh Richardson from the lineup.
The Sixers followed the lead of Ben Simmons, who scored a career-high 34 points in 26 minutes to lead his team to a 141-94 win, earning some well-deserved (and much needed) rest in the second half with a back-to-back against the Raptors happening on Sunday. While Simmons was spectacular driving and doing the things we’ve grown accustomed to him doing when he’s at his best, he also hit his second three of the season, this time from the left corner, and, once again, looked pretty smooth and confident with his stroke.
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) December 8, 2019
After the game, coach Brett Brown heaped praise on his young star point guard, but also issued a challenge to him, calling for him to take at least one three-pointer per game for the rest of the season, via Kyle Neubeck of the Philly Voice.
“This is what I want, you can pass this along to his agent, his family, his friends, and to him, I want a three-point shot a game, minimum. The pull-up twos, I’m fine with whatever is open, but I’m interested in the three-point shot,” Brown said. “And the mentality that he has when he’s turning corners and he’s taking that long step, that gather step, and bringing his shoulders to the rim and trying to dunk and finish tight, [that] will equal higher efficiency and getting fouled. That’s the world that interests me the most, those two things.”
Brown has been vocal in supporting Simmons shooting threes since the preseason, but this is the most forceful he’s been in calling for him to shoot those shots. That’s likely because now is a great time to do so, given that he’s 2-for-2 and confidence is high. We’ll have to see if Simmons follows through on his coach’s request, but even if he’s doesn’t take one every game, simply pulling from distance on a semi-regular basis would be a massive change for him and, the Sixers hope, would cause defenses to approach him and the team a bit differently.