Ben Simmons made his second career 3-pointer against the Cavaliers and Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown has put the point guard on notice.
On Saturday night the Philadelphia 76ers boat raced the Cleveland Cavaliers to the score of 141-94. That wasn’t the headline of the night from this game though, Ben Simmons hitting his second career 3-pointer with 3:41 left in the first half was the one that took the cake.
The shot led Philly’s head coach Brett Brown to challenging Simmons by saying this in his post game presser.
"”’This is what I want…I want a 3-point shot per game, minimum.”’"
First things first, it’s about time this subject has been addressed more directly than ever before. None of this talk is new, it’s just now that it is more pressing of an issue than it has ever been with the Sixers championship aspirations for this season.
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Brown saying this is in fact a good thing. It has been one of the three main topics of conversation circulating the 76ers since Simmons has started donning Sixers threads. I wonder if Brown thought this same thing after the Knicks game on November 20th where Simmons hit his first career 3-pointer. If he did, he waited for it to happen again to speak candidly on it.
I can’t help but to be skeptical of this happening, because of how Simmons sticks to only what he’s comfortable with doing. It took Simmons seven games to even attempt another 3-pointer. The mindless, panicked turnaround heave in Toronto on November 25th in a loss does not count to me despite it being taken down as a 3-point attempt. Most fans are only asking for under control, in rhythm spot up 3-pointers.
Also, when watching games Simmons doesn’t even space out to the corner enough for me to get my hopes up about this declaration by Brown. Simmons getting into the habit of spacing out to the 3-point line is a vital part of it, because Simmons has to be in the position to shoot a 3-pointer for him to reach Brown’s small goal set for him. If Simmons is locked in like he was against the Cavaliers, then this task should be completed.
The skepticism is based upon the equity that Simmons has built up over his first two seasons and change of looking absolutely disinterested to expand his game in NBA games, not shootarounds or open gym runs. What happens if Simmons doesn’t fulfill the challenge set by Brown? Is there a punishment? Does Brown yank Simmons from a game as soon as possible after Simmons gives up shooting an open 3-pointers? Another storyline to certainly watch out for.
Maybe, just maybe Brown’s comments opened Simmons’ eyes to the bigger picture and we all rejoice. If not, Brown would have to take some type of action if Simmons reverts back to what got him to the NBA. This is the fork in the road for Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers to unlock another level to the team’s offense.