Skip to main content

Doc Rivers Compares Ben Simmons Playstyle To Rajon Rondo: "People Forget I Had Rondo... Early On, Rondo Could Shoot The Ball, But Rondo Didn’t Want To Shoot The Ball; He Still Doesn’t A Lot. But Rondo Is Pretty Effective In The Playoffs And I Think Ben Ca

  • Author:
  • Publish date:
(via Philadelphia Inquirer)

(via Philadelphia Inquirer)

Ben Simmons is an elite point guard who has one glaring flaw: his shooting. Despite being coaxed by many of his teammates, and former coach Brett Brown, Simmons still doesn't shoot the ball much. There are many reasons for that: for example, it's not like Simmons is a sniper from deep, so Simmons taking it could be viewed as an inefficient shot. In today's era though, it's hard for players not to take jump shots at all: even Giannis Antetokounmpo takes some to keep the defense honest.

However, Doc Rivers, the new Philadelphia 76ers coach didn't seem to be phased. On the show First Take with Stephen A. Smith, the veteran coach explained why Simmons doesn't necessarily need a workable jumper yet. The segment starts at 1:58.

Doc Rivers explains that the priority is getting Ben Simmons comfortable with the ball. Simmons will naturally be the playmaker on the Philadelphia 76ers, so he's bound to have the ball in his hands. Rivers expressed that while long term development of Ben Simmons' range is important, it is possible to win a championship with a non-shooting point guard.

Rivers mentions Rajon Rondo, who was part of the 2008 Boston Celtics championship team. Rondo notably didn't shoot the ball much in his earlier days, though now he is a passable floor spacer. Rivers using Simmons in a Rondo-like role could work: Simmons is more athletic and bigger, though his playmaking isn't quite on Rondo's level. While it may be counterintuitive for Rivers to not focus on shooting, that could help Simmons enhance his strengths on the court when playing for a new system.

At the end of the day, you want your stars to be comfortable. Rivers is doing just that, and hopefully that can help Simmons improve in any way he can.