Sixers' Joel Embiid wants Ben Simmons to shoot jumpers more often: 'He’s got to keep on taking them'
Simmons has started to expand his range a little bit in recent weeks
Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons has never made a 3-pointer in his career, a fact that has become a well-known running joke on social media. In fact, he hasn't even attempted one this season. But he has started to increase his range a bit.
On Christmas Day, Simmons made the longest shot of his career, a 22-foot jumper, and that's led to an increasing number of attempts in recent games. He's not flinging them recklessly, but he is actually taking some jumpers once in a while, which is notable.
Also notable is that Joel Embiid wants him to shoot even more often. Following the Sixers' win over the Mavericks on Saturday night -- during which Simmons recorded a triple-double with 20 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists -- Embiid said that it's important for Simmons to keep shooting jumpers. Via the Philadelphia Enquirer:
"He hasn't been making it, but he's been taking it. That's what matters," Embiid said of Simmons' starting to shoot jumpers. "I shot 30 percent from three, but guys still jump when I shot-fake. ... Just because you take them, people are compelled to guard that.
"So he's got to keep on taking them, and naturally it's going to go in."
It's a pretty valid point from Embiid. Even if Simmons doesn't shoot a great percentage, teams will eventually start to respect and pay attention to him on the perimeter if he's willing to take the shots.
That would only make it easier for Simmons to operate and get into the lane. Plus, on a team basis, it could help open up some spacing for the Sixers, who have struggled with that issue at times since the arrival of Jimmy Butler.
Simmons, for his part, noted that he's just focused on getting better at that aspect of his game. "I just want to get better," Simmons said. "I'm not really worried about the immediate outcome. I think it's just something special to my game that I'm adding, and it's one of those parts to my game that can really separate me."
It will be quite interesting to see whether Simmons actually commits to increasing his output on jumpers, or if his poor shooting percentages will make this a short-lived fad.
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