Can Doc Rivers get the Philadelphia 76ers’ All-Star playmaker to finally start taking jumpers?
Now that Doc Rivers has succeeded Brett Brown as the Philadelphia 76ers head coach, he as a long list of things to fix with this roster. One thing that should be near the top of his list is breaking through to Ben Simmons about taking jump shots.
Simmons’ unwillingness to take jump shots is one of the biggest wonders documented in the NBA. During the hiatus, Jackie McMullen of ESPN wrote on Simmons’ mental barriers regarding his outside shooting.
There were two takeaways from the piece. The first is that Simmons won’t shoot 3-pointers until he feels he’s ready. The other is that regardless of however Brown tried to get Simmons to shoot, he wasn’t getting pushed into it. The question is can Rivers change Simmons’ mentality about taking jumpers?
Rivers potentially can get Simmons to buy-in.
Evidence points to the fact that Rivers can get Simmons to start taking jumpers. Rivers is all about getting players to buy into what is best for the team. He got three future Hall of Famers in Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce to give up a little of their individual games and they won a championship for the Boston Celtics.
Former Celtics center Kendrick Perkins had spoken with Rivers about how the head coach made him bought into his role.
Let’s be clear, Perkins probably would have never been an All-Star in his career. That being said, the retired center did have that mentality that he would be until Rivers sat down with him and discussed what was best for his team. Based on what Perkins said, Rivers sounds like the epidemy of accountability which is what Simmons and the 76ers need on the whole.
Rivers got future Hall of Famers and a young Perkins to buy into their roles which is incredible. If Rivers believes Simmons’ role should include taking outside shots, then there’s a good chance he gets Simmons to do it.
It’s not going to be an easy task for Rivers. Brown had personal ties with Simmons and his family but still wasn’t able to get the 6-foot-10 playmaker to take jumpers. However, the Philadelphia 76ers new head coach has a track record of players buying into what he needs from them, which should be in Rivers’ favor.