The Philadelphia 76ers have just lost their first game of the season to the Phoenix Suns. While Embiid did not play, due to his suspension by Karl-Anthony Towns, the Sixers were neck-and-neck with the young Suns, who also were without their star big man Deandre Ayton due to a failed drug test. The game came down to 3 major things: Devin Booker's efficient 40 points, Tobias Harris's struggles, and the Suns' defense on Ben Simmons. The 6' 10" point guard from LSU was held to just 6 lowly points, but contributed all around the court with 7 steals, tying a career high. Simmons has started off this season strong, averaging about 15 PPG, 8 APG, 6 RPG, and 3 SPG on 50% FG% and 0% from 3.
And it's that last stat that has many Philadelphia fans like myself scratching their heads. Entering his 3rd season, Ben Simmons has won Rookie of the Year, been named to the All-Rookie 1st Team, was selected to the 2019 NBA All-Star Game on Team Lebron, and has made a whopping 0 3-pointers in his whole career. He has logged only 1 in his single freshman season at LSU.
Before I completely unfold this phenomenon, Simmons does not NEED a 3 point shot to be a dominant player in today's "3-pointer happy" world. He has proved that already, as he was selected with the #1 overall pick in 2016, led the 76ers to 2 straight 3 seeds in his 2 years in the league, and has been named an All-Star. The 76ers have gotten to the 2nd round of the playoffs in both seasons that Simmons has started at PG. His play-making vision, athleticism, defense and leadership make him one of the best players in the NBA, arguably top 15 at the age of 23.
Ben Simmons is the perfect NBA player in today's age if you exclude 3 pointers. Why not include it?
Simmons SHOULD START taking threes soon because NBA Defenses have started to figure out ways to defend Simmons and his teammates since they have confidence that he won't shoot. Ben needs confidence in his shot if it is open. As a player who just received a $180 million extension, I know that Simmons will eventually take 3s this season. He needs to start very soon before he loses his confidence.