Today marks a milestone for 76ers sophomore Ben Simmons.
Only, it’s not exactly a milestone worthy of celebration. Rather, unbelievably, today marks the three-year anniversary of the last time Simmons has made a 3-pointer in competitive basketball.
Despite being one of the most promising young players in the league today, shooting has always been a major struggle for Simmons. In just 11 total attempts through his first two years, he has yet to make a single shot from downtown. After two and a half seasons in the NBA, we were hoping he’d show some improvement by now. That hasn’t been the case, sadly.
The last time he did make one, we had a different President, an Adele song was leading the billboard, and LeBron James had not yet won a Championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers. That’s a big yikes.
In a more serious tone, this poses a serious problem for both Simmons and the Sixers. It’s no secret that the 3-ball rules today’s NBA. It’s one of the reasons the Warriors are so dominant. It stretches the floor and increases the rate of scoring, making it much harder for opposing teams to defend. Today, not only do non-shooting teams rarely see post-season success but nearly all of the game’s biggest stars can shoot from the arc in some capacity.
Heck, even Dwight Howard has made a three since 2015.
Truth is, if Ben Simmons doesn’t improve from distance, he’ll always be limited as a player. If you’re Philly, who’s a few tweaks away from being a serious contender, do you continue to hope that your 2016 lottery pick adds a shot to his game, or do you consider moving him before other teams find out later that it’s a lost cause? It appears as if the team is sticking with the former, at least, for now.