Since entering the NBA, Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons has become one of the league’s best players.
Simmons, who was the No. 1 overall pick in 2016, has made two All-Star appearances and averaged 16.4 points, 8.3 rebounds and 8.0 assists per game throughout his career.
The main knock on Simmons is that he hasn’t been able to shoot 3-pointers. In 214 career regular season games, Simmons has attempted just 23 shots from long range, making only two of those attempts. Most of those attempts have been deep shots just to beat the buzzer.
In an effort to grow his confidence as a shooter, Simmons has agreed to see a sports psychologist to address the issue.
“Simmons agreed to work with a sports psychologist, while Sixers personnel, friends and teammates have tried — and failed — to instill the necessary impudence to get him over the hump,” wrote ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan.
“I know it’s going to come,” Simmons said. “It’s a matter of me being comfortable doing it. Some of that is getting the reps in. I can take a hook shot from the elbow, because I’ve done it so many times, I’m confident it will go in. It’s second nature.
“With 3s, it’s never been like that. I’ve got to make it a point of emphasis. I could be one of those guys shooting 30 percent right now. But I’d rather be one of those guys shooting 40 percent.”
Adding a 3-point shot would make Simmons one of the best players in the league.
He already averages close to a triple-double with defenses sagging off him. If the defense had to worry about him on the perimeter, it would unlock a whole new dimension of his game.
Simmons and the 76ers will return to action inside the NBA bubble on Aug. 1 against the Indiana Pacers.