2016 #1 overall pick Ben Simmons is viewed as one of the best young players in the game. Averaging 14 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 8.2 assists, he’s one of Philadelphia’s most important players.
Still, his struggles are no secret to anyone and despite all he can do on the court, what he can’t do has drastically limited his game.
With only 22 career 3-point attempts, Ben Simmons isn’t just bad at shooting from beyond the arc — he doesn’t even try. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find him launching anything farther than a few feet out. In a stat noted by Micah Adams, it’s gotten so bad that Simmons is currently averaging the same shot distance as Lakers’ center Shaquille O’Neal.
The average shot distance for Ben Simmons is 4.7 feet.
The average shot distance for Shaq in 2000-01 was 4.7 feet.
— Micah Adams (@MicahAdams13) December 21, 2019
What does this mean? Well, simply put, that Simmons lives in the paint. In today’s three-point top-heavy game, that’s just unacceptable.
Sad to see Ben Simmons turn into Jahlil Okafor crossed with Michael Carter-Williams in the fourth quarter.
Sixers fans should be furious about his lack of offensive development. Simmons is still a cowardly shooter, a half-court liability and a detriment to Philly’s playoff odds.
— Kevin O’Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) December 21, 2019
Interestingly, the young forward is currently averaging a career-low in points and rebounds despite averaging the most minutes of the three-year career.
Obviously there is a lot of room for growth from Simmons. His failure to stretch the floor is likely the culprit of his decline as a player, and Philly’s rather disappointing 21-10 start.
Hopefully he can figure things out, because his team certainly needs him to.