After years of redefining abysmal in the NBA, things are finally simmering to a boil for the Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers boast the most unique young duo in the entire league. Rookie Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid are some of the premiere young players of today’s game. However, the road to NBA greatness is very arduous and Ben Simmons has his work cut out for him primarily concerning his jump shot.
The bottom line is that Ben Simmons cannot shoot. He cannot even sort of shoot. Coming Into a league that shoots more three pointers than ever before, Simmons has displayed literally no outside shooting ability. In his debut season, Simmons is currently shooting zero percent from the three-point line.
However, up to this point, it has not impeded the damage that he is dealing out this season. Simmons is a game-changer and a physical specimen. He has size and speed that 90 percent of the league simply cannot handle. From day one, he has played with the most unusual pace while doing way more than keeping up with some of the best that the league has to offer. While nothing is set in stone, most would say that Simmons is the frontrunner for the 2018 Rookie of the Year Award.
The smooth waters that Simmons is currently navigating are sure to roughen up as the league gets more acquainted with his game. The Sixers are most likely going to be a playoff team this season, but the amount of time that a coach can devote to defending Simmons dramatically increases in a playoff series. As Lonzo Ball quickly found out, being a rookie in the NBA will catch up to anyone.
If Simmons wants to be an all-time great, it is nothing less than necessary that he becomes a threat to shoot occasionally. While many of the players that we consider all-time greats were not known as knockdown shooters, they at least had the ability to shoot consistently enough to make defenses think. The Superstar’s game is very much that of a slasher. Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Dwayne Wade are all players that confirm this observation. Simmons already has the elite slashing and passing skills, but if he wants his name to be mentioned with any of those all-time guys, the only answer lies with his shooting.
What many Sixers fans and I fear is that Simmons will be unwilling to put the work in to improve his shot. To me, when a player has a detrimental flaw in their game, it signals a teeny-tiny red flag. With Simmons, that flag is extra tiny due to the arsenal of skills that he can draw from at any time. However, it is unquestionably still there. Similarly worrying, Simmons did not show a ravaging hunger for winning in college and most would agree that has not changed for him in the NBA. Simmons is currently exceeding expectations, but often times expectations catch up to you as soon as you think that you are safe. The future is bright for the Sixers, but it is up to Ben Simmons to step up and lead his franchise.