Ben Simmons is arguably the most skilled young player in the NBA. He has an unforgettable passing ability and drives the lane with ease. Though despite this, one thing fans want from him is to shoot the ball.
While he’s a deserved All-Star, he still doesn’t shoot in games. The media are all over Simmons’ pregame routine, as he drills threes and practices jumper; yet, in the game, he rarely attempts a jumper. Sure, he’s shot a fadeaway at the end of the shot clock here and there, he’s made a three pointer or two, but he doesn’t shoot enough as the fans want him to.
At the beginning of October, he made a few promises to Philly:
- “Yeah we’ve been working on everything, from ball-handling to touch around the rim, floaters, jumpers, threes, whatever it is, just getting a consistent rhythm. I feel confident.”
- “If it’s open I’ll take it.”
- “It just changes the dynamic of the game and the way guys have to guard you. So once I get into a rhythm and feel comfortable I think it will change a lot of things.”
- “I’m confident with the work I’ve been putting in. I would say that’s the best way to put it. I’m confident in the work I’ve been doing and the reps I’ve been putting in.”
He practiced shooting this summer, and by his quotes it seems fairly evident that he’s good at shooting.
So why doesn’t he shoot? Here are my 3 reasons:
1.) Ben Simmons doesn’t have confidence in his shooting ability:
Last year, Simmons couldn’t shoot. It was simple. Every meme page out there clowned him and laughed at his ability. His confidence couldn’t get any worse. He prepared and hustled over the summer, and made a three in the first preseason game, but since then hasn’t shot the ball much at all. He doesn’t have the confidence to shoot five times in a game.
2.) Ben Simmons doesn’t care about winning:
Simmons is a hard worker. He’s an unbelievable player with the capability to be among the best; but he doesn’t take that extra step to get there. Jimmy Butler recently spoke on the Sixers in an interview, and it appears certain quotes are aimed towards Simmons, “[Some guys are playing for] the money, the houses, the cars, the fame. There are so many other things that people can play this game for.” Does Simmons really care about winning? Think about it. He arrives in a fancy car and outfit to every game (which doesn’t mean much). Is he in it for the fame, or the passion to win a championship?
3.) Ben Simmons hasn’t found his groove yet:
In the October interview, Simmons stated, “Once I get into a rhythm and feel comfortable I think it will change a lot of things.” Maybe Simmons hasn’t established his rhythm yet. Maybe he wants to shoot and get better, but he hasn’t gotten into that rhythm. Simmons has recently taken more jump shots, so maybe he’s finding his groove. Philly fans sure hope he does.
If the Sixers continue their disappointing play, the team is bound for a massive offseason decision concerning their star duo of Embiid and Simmons – and who to build around if they can’t coexist. Simmons’ mentality could be the deciding factor in that huge choice; so it is surely something to keep an eye on.