The Philadelphia 76ers dominated the Orlando Magic without a problem on New Year's Eve. While every player who got in the game had a big moment at some point, Sixers guard Ben Simmons had everybody talking about him early on in the game as he drained his first attempted three-point shot of the season.
In the past, outside of a few rare scenarios, Simmons would avoid taking a shot from beyond the arc no matter what. As he continues to work on it in practice and during shootarounds, the fourth-year All-Star feels more comfortable taking it.
Typically, Simmons tends to downplay any three-point-related questions coming from the media. However, on Thursday night, the veteran guard felt good and made it clear he's confident in his shot these days.
“Joel [Embiid] threw the pass; he knew I was gonna put it up,” Simmons said after Thursday's win over the Magic. “It was a shot that I work on, corner threes. I feel comfortable taking it, so I knocked it down.”
Simmons' teammate Seth Curry hasn't been around the fourth-year guard for long, but after practicing with Simmons for about a month at this point, he was hardly surprised to see Simmons launch a three without hesitation and convert.
“I’ve seen him make it in practice, and I know he can knock it down,” Curry mentioned. “Especially from the corner, so it’s just a matter of him doing it in a game and stepping into it with confidence. It didn’t look like there was too much hesitation on the shot, and I expected it to go in, to be honest.”
Will Simmons' newfound confidence in his long-range shot get him to take threes more often? Many would probably hope, but don't count on it becoming a regular occurrence. Simmons isn't going to hit the court and launch threes for the sake of doing it -- and Doc Rivers made it clear he's not going to head down the same road as Brett Brown and ask for at least one three-point shot-per-game.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_