PHILADELPHIA, PA -- The talk of the summer regarding the Philadelphia 76ers this offseason has primarily surrounded the shooting of point guard, Ben Simmons. Considering the young All-Star has thrived in most areas of his game, he seems to lack a very crucial skillset for an NBA point guard, which is shooting the ball.
Ever since Simmons has been drafted by the Sixers, his inability to shoot from long-range has always been in question. Many argued Simmons actually could drain the big shot, but he was just unwilling to shoot it because of a confidence issue.
Fast forward to year three, and Simmons is under the same exact scrutiny. Although Simmons did quiet the critics for a moment last week as he drained his first true three-point shot against Knicks, that moment only lasted so long.
Roughly a week later, and Simmons' unwillingness to shoot is visibly affecting the Sixers once again. As the veteran point guard is hardly a threat when he's not close to the rim, it creates a lack of space for the rest of the Sixers' lineup when Simmons is on the floor.
In other words, it creates somewhat of a nightmare scenario for their center, Joel Embiid. Especially if a team has the correct personnel to issue the big man a tough time. On Monday, the Sixers witnessed that fact first hand as the Toronto Raptors forced Embiid to have the worst game of his career, draining zero points in a little over 30 minutes on the floor.
Embiid will look to bounce back on Wednesday at home against the Sacramento Kings, but a little bit of help from his point guard could be beneficial. When asked about whether Simmons' shooting the ball could help Embiid moving forward or not, Brett Brown had to agree with that notion on Wednesday.
"If you asked me just in general, I'd say yes," says Sixers' head coach Brett Brown when asked if Simmons could help Embiid by shooting more. "As it relates to double-teams, there's a little bit of a connection of the dots. I feel like we're getting there. If you look at spacing and where he's going to the corners, I think there are available shots that perhaps, he could look at more. In general, I want him to shoot more."
Will Simmons begin to open up more when it comes to shooting from medium-to-long-range? That remains to be seen. He's shown so far this season that he won't be as hesitant as he was the last two years, but there is still a lot more to be desired from the point guard's game at this point.