Brett Brown encouraging Ben Simmons to take more jumpers
Sixers head coach Brett Brown has challenged his point-forward Ben Simmons into showing what he worked so hard this summer for, hoping to see a glimmer of his jump shot as the season progresses.
“He’s earned the right to [shoot],” said Brett Brown, according to Bob Ford of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “He invested the time. It’s what he did all summer. You don’t think he feels what everybody’s dying to see? It’s going to come to him sooner or later, on his terms. To think anything else would be really naïve.”
Simmons’ arsenal at the offensive end is dynamic, but limited by his lack of confidence in his jumper, a left-handed stroke that could pass off as an effective one before it clanks badly off the back rim or falls short altogether. During Thursday night’s win over the L.A. Clippers, Simmons made his second shot from beyond 10 feet this season, but it wasn’t the jump shot Brown was expecting, but rather a 12-foot running hook off a spin move.
Progress is progress, no?
“I wish he would use it more. I would like to see him gather, come to a jump stop and just shoot over people. He’s not going to get his shot blocked,” said Brett Brown. “It’s easy for me to try to promote it. He plays the game. He hasn’t done it as much as I wish. At this stage, I’m OK with it.”
The Sixers look like an entirely different team when J.J. Redick, a proven marksman steps onto the floor, giving them a much-needed perimeter sniper to allow the team to breathe and space out the floor. Simmons won’t turn into Redick any time soon, or maybe ever — but the addition of a mid-range game could open up so many other of his skills as a scorer and playmaker.
Asked if Brown’s encouragement led him to expand his range a bit, Simmons said only “a little,” noting he was also trying to take advantage of what the defense gave him. Judging by a 14-point, 11-assist night, this is one jump-shot-less night Brown can live with for the foreseeable future.