Ben Simmons is one of the best two-way players in the NBA. At his 6'11" height, he can dominate the defensive end in both the paint and on the perimeter. As an oversized point guard, Ben Simmons can see the entire floor and that makes it easy for him to set up his teammates.
Of course, Simmons was the best rookie in 2018 and won the Rookie of the Year Award by averaging 15.8 PPG, 8.1 RPG, and 8.2 APG. Simmons also chipped in with 1.7 SPG and 0.9 BPG, showcasing his abilities as a two-way star. Clearly, his potential was sky high following his rookie season and many thought he would become the face of the NBA in due time.
But so far, 3 years after his rookie season, Simmons has not become the star we expect of him. Rather, he has been a bit of a liability for the Philadelphia 76ers.
Ben Simmons Is An Atrocious Shooter And Is Making History Because Of It
Ben Simmons can't shoot and we all know this. In fact, we might all begin to accept it if he can at least become average from three and from the free-throw line. But Simmons hasn't been able to be an average shooter and is becoming a massive liability for his team. Philadelphia are consistently in the playoffs and Simmons deserves a ton of credit for that, but his putrid shooting might never get them over the hump.
Simmons is a very poor 22 for 67 from the line so far in this postseason. That is an embarrassing 32.8% after a 4-for-14 performance from the line in Philadelphia’s Game 5 loss to Atlanta in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Unfortunately for Simmons, that is the worst shooting percentage in NBA history when a player attempts this many foul shots in the postseason. And yes, that makes Simmons worse than Shaquille O'Neal.
Shooting worse than Shaq from the free-throw line and not averaging a single three-point shot per game once in his career is unacceptable. The 76ers have high hopes with Embiid and Simmons on the roster, but the lack of shooting improvement by their franchise point guard will not give Philadelphia enough to ever win a championship.
The Duo Of Ben Simmons And Joel Embiid Has Not Worked As Expected
Simmons and Embiid have not worked out as many have hoped. Together, along with Tobias Harris, they have led Philadelphia into the playoffs every year with championship aspirations. They can lock in on defense and are very unselfish in sharing the ball. But when Joel Embiid is double-teamed, Simmons is always forced to pass and not shoot. While a point guard distributing the ball is never a bad thing, lack of jump shooting in arguably the most important position on the floor is a problem.
Simmons handles the ball the majority of the time for Philadelphia and must be expected to make shots rather than relying on Seth Curry, Danny Green, and Tobias Harris all the time. Most importantly, Philadelphia find themselves relying on Joel Embiid at the end of the game when their second-best player is on the bench. Teams are employing a "Hack-A-Simmons" strategy to force missed points and head coach Doc Rivers is very aware that this can lead to losses. Having your best ball handler and playmaker on the bench to avoid getting fouled hurts the team's chances of winning games in crunch time.
Due to his lack of all-around improvement on offense, Simmons has not allowed his duo with Embiid to achieve their maximum capabilities. As long as Simmons doesn't work on his jumper, the 76ers will always stagnate in the postseason before finally pulling the trigger on some massive roster changes that may include the Australian superstar.