Ben Simmons is already a really advanced basketball player. Whether you think he’s a rookie or not, it is undeniable that Simmons is capable of playing beyond his years. He’s already really good at getting to the rim, has great handles for a big man, and is a talented passer, rebounder, and defender. While he hasn’t exactly been dominant in Philadelphia’s series against Boston up until his point, Simmons’ future is as bright of that for any NBA player.
His biggest achilles heel, though, is his jump shot. Saying Simmons is a bad shooter almost gives him too much credit — he missed all 11 three pointers that he attempted this year and connected on 56 percent of his attempts from the free throw line during the regular season. It’s gotten so bad that a corner of weird Celtics Twitter has taken to calling him a coward and daring him to shoot a three during the series.
It’s the one thing that seems like it can keep Simmons for reaching superstardom, and Kobe Bryant has a simple answer: Just scrap the whole thing and start over. Bryant appeared on “Chris and Caron” on Fox Sports Radio and was asked about the impact Simmons’ lack of a jumper is having on the series with the Celtics. While Kobe did say he doesn’t think it’s necessarily hurting Philadelphia, he does think Simmons has to make some major changes moving forward.
Just aesthetically I would say build that thing anew (laughs). I don’t think the game came down to that though. I think on a fundamental level, being able to get open off the ball is what did them in. They just tried to pop free for the ball, and in that situation you can’t do that. You got to put your body on your defender, hold them off and now you got to pop for the ball. Those are just basic, fundamental things, but those little fundamental things are what cost teams playoff series’ and eventual championships. So it’s those little fundamental things that you’ve really got to focus on from Day 1 in training camp, because if you lose sight of that it comes back to haunt you.
Kobe had some solid analysis of what did Philly in during its heartbreaking loss in Game 3, but he also made a good point about Simmons needing to start from square one with his shot. At this point, it’s not like what he’s currently doing is working especially well, so why not give something new a try?