The REAL Problem With Ben Simmons In The NBA (Ft. 3 Point Shots & a Tall 76ers Point Guard)

The REAL Problem With Ben Simmons In The NBA (Ft. 3 Point Shots & a Tall 76ers Point Guard)

Ben Simmons has so much NBA potential, but is playing at the same level as his rookie season. So what’s the problem with Ben Simmons? #NBA #Simmons #Jumpshots
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Ben Simmons made his second career 3. Every time he makes a three, it’s actually like the memes. Simmons somehow is averaging a career low in points at 14.8, a career high in assists by 0.3 at 8.5 assists and a career low in rebounds at 6.9 rebounds. Now that this is his third year in the league, you would think that Simmons would be improving, but he seems like the same player if not a little worse than his rookie season, so I wanted to look at what’s going on with Ben Simmons, because his main problem actually isn’t his jumpshot.

I think the reason why Ben Simmons not improving gets frustrating is because we all can see the potential he has. He averaged 16, 8, and 8 in his first year. Then we saw the playoffs and when he had 0 points and wondered what he would do. Brett Brown wants Simmons taking 1 three a game, but Ben Simmons is somehow taking less overall shots per game than last season when Jimmy Butler was on the 76ers. Simmons is only averaging 10.4 field goal attempts a game which is lower than the 12.2 from last year. Jimmy Butler who was averaging 13.6 shots a game in 55 games for the Sixers is gone. Now we know that Ben Simmons shoots only inside the paint.

Even as the guy handling the ball, he’s not able to create enough shots for himself. And it’s not his shooting that’s the problem. We’ve seen Giannis last season without a jumpshot get to the rim, take shots, and make them. The Bucks didn’t seem to have this issue last year even with Giannis only taking 2.8 3s a game. A lot of that has to do with the Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer who put in a 5 out system to let Giannis have all the space to drive when he has the ball. There’s so much space for Giannis to take his steps, his long demi-god steps (ahhhhh) If there is help defense, he can make that open pass. Even when Giannis didn’t have the ball, defenders would not leave him completely open because that would give him too much free space to start running into the paint. When Simmons is given that 5 out space, he’s at his most effective. He’s able to drive to the rim and make passes with his great playmaking ability.

Ben Simmons’s only value as an off-ball player is as a cutter. Most defenses will leave Simmons open and double on the person who has the ball like Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris.It’s not the supposed star in Ben Simmons getting doubled. It’s the other players like Tobias Harris who almost became an NBA All-Star and solid role players like Korkmaz, Josh Richardson, Mike Scott who are getting superstar treatment with Ben Simmons on the floor and they aren’t always the best under this double team pressure.

The 76ers don’t run a lot of 5 out with Embiid liking to sit in the post, but even with Embiid popping out to the 3 point line, there’s something missing from Simmons. I know that he’s not as dominant Giannis, he got bullied by Giannis, but there’s more to it than that. It’s his lack of aggression that’s concerning. Ben’s usage rate has dropped from 21.5% last year to 19.6 this year which doesn’t make any sense. A lot of times Simmons will begin to drive, and then stop at the free throw line area and pass, not to an open teammate. Why? Probably best to ask Simmons himself, maybe he wants to avoid the defenders. Whatever the reason, he’s being passive. That’s why his usage rate is down, because he’s choosing not to do more. Simmons actually was averaging more touches in his rookie season than this season from 95 to 90.3.

The 76ers don’t really run a Ben Simmons-Joel Embiid pick and roll. It’s weird when you have two All-Stars that are a point guard center combo. We’re seeing LeBron and AD run pick and rolls and while Simmons is not LeBron and Embiid is not AD, Simmons playmaking, and Embiid’s presence could have a similar effect. I get that defenders would drop underneath the screen, but that would give Ben enough space to bulldoze into the paint and see if the defense helps off Embiid to then pass to him, or if the defense switches for Ben to have a 1 v 1 in the paint. As the Ball handler in a pick and roll, Simmons actually averaged 0.96 points per possession last season which was in the 80th percentile but ran less than 3 pick and rolls a game. Even a pick and pop with Al Horford and Simmons would be pretty good, but these are all options that just don’t get used as they probably should.

I hope the Cavs game was more of what we’re going to see from now on because Ben is special, don’t forget that. But what do you think? Will Ben Simmons play better than last year? How far can the 76ers go?