With Ben Simmons struggling to shoot the ball against the Boston Celtics, Kobe Bryant had some advice for the young star. While appearing on the Chris and Caron show on Fox Sports Radio, Bryant was asked about Simmons’ shot.
“Just aesthetically I would say build that thing anew,” Bryant said. I don’t think the game came down to that though.”
While I do agree with Bryant that the game did not come down to that, Simmons does need to improve his jump shot if he ever wants to become elite in this modern-day NBA. Case in point, Brad Stevens is daring Simmons to shoot by having defenders sag off him to cut off his passing lanes and penetrations. This strategy has definitely affected the 76ers offense because the lanes are clogged and their spacing has been terrible.
Simmons is already an amazing playmaker and gets buckets just off his raw athleticism, but his lack of mid-range shooting and even more so three-point shooting has been the one area brought into question multiple times this season, and justifiably so. Simmons averages 15.8 ppg, of which 11.3 come from points in the paint, 71.5% of his scoring. I’ll take it a step further. In the playoffs, Simmons is 41-70 from within 5 ft. (58.6 FG%), but 2-12 from 5-9 ft (16.7%), 3-8 from 10-14 ft (37.5%), 1-3 from 15-19 ft. (33.3%), and 0% from anything further out. Not even one made three, as he is not even trying to take them.
His playoffs in a nutshell:
– 41/70 (59%) from inside 5 ft.
– 6/25 (24%) outside 5 ft.
– Only 2 attempts outside 20 feet (both misses). 2/8 FG’s outside of the paint overall.
Kobe is right, Simmons does need to revamp his shot from scratch, and that can start with his balance on the jump shot. He fades on every shot he takes which causes his elbow to be out. That is one of the disadvantages of being bigger and faster than everybody his whole life, he could just bully opponents and never had to develop a reliable outside shot or go-to move. The majority of his attempts are on driving dunks/layups, and in the playoffs, he is not shooting his jump hook well and is bricking his fadeaways.
Fortunately for Simmons, the 76ers, and their fanbase, he is just 21 years old and has plenty of time to work on that jumper. Would be cool to see him work with Kobe or someone in the off-season to try to get better. I can’t wait to see how good he can get in the upcoming years.