Philadelphia 76ers’ head coach Doc Rivers needs to make Ben Simmons a power forward.
The position that Ben Simmons is labeled as has always been a hot topic surrounding the Philadelphia 76ers ever since he was drafted. Last season, former head coach Brett Brown tried Simmons at the power forward spot and it appears that the Sixers’ new head coach in Doc Rivers should follow his predecessor’s lead.
Rivers’ recently made it clear he wasn’t worried about Simmons’ dip in scoring this year, according to Paul Hudrick of ESPN 97.3. However, Rivers and 76ers fans should be worried, not only about his scoring but his offense as a whole.
Why now is the right time for the Sixers to make Simmons a power forward
This season, Simmons is averaging 12.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, 8.0 assists, 1.5 steals, 1.0 block, and 4.2 turnovers. The points are at a career low and his turnovers at a career high. His decisions running the half-court offense haven’t gotten better, they’ve gotten worst.
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It’s time for Rivers to take the responsibility of running the half-court offense out of Simmons’ hands and make him a playmaking power forward or a point forward. Luckily for Rivers, he has the personnel to make the transition now.
To be clear, Seth Curry isn’t capable of running a half-court offense, despite averaging a career high in assist. However, both Shake Milton and rookie Tyrese Maxey have proven capable of playing the point guard position.
Personally, I like Milton coming off the bench. However, unless the Sixers trade for a true point guard like Kyle Lowry, which I’ve outlined why they should in the past, then Milton starting is the best option for the Sixers.
Milton is averaging 16.9 points and 3.7 assists this year. Milton is showing real skills as a playmaker this season and if it continues, he deserves a shot to start. Milton initiating the half-court offense will force Simmons to impact the game in other ways.
The Sixers need to get Simmons out of his comfort zone to get him to grow his game. As I wrote recently, he appears to be more like a Draymond Green type of player versus being of the LeBron James mold. However, as Christopher Kline of The Sixer Sense wrote, Simmons still needs to grow certain areas of his game to be more like Green, primarily affecting the game without the ball in his hands on offense and making better decisions within the half-court offense.
By Rivers shifting Simmons to an off-ball role in the off-court offense it is going to help the Philadelphia 76ers’ offense and will help the All-Star develop other areas of his offensive game.