The idea that Ben Simmons, who guards the Philadelphia 76ers, will spend the off-season improving his shooting stroke has become an annual discussion in Philadelphia.
That will surely be the case again this off-season after Simmons melted down on the foul line – and disappeared from Philadelphia’s offense – when the 76ers collapsed and bowed out of the playoffs and lost in seven games to the Atlanta Hawks.
But less than 24 hours after his team’s season ended, 76ers coach Doc Rivers said on Monday that he believes this summer will be different for Simmons. Why? Because, according to Rivers, not only is Simmons ready to get the job done, but the Sixers have a plan to address his shooting problems that is to do “the right job” and “the right way”.
“I think without going into details about what we’re doing, I think we know what the right job is, the right kind of work and the right way,” said Rivers when asked why this off-season will be Different when it comes to Simmons’ shooting.
“You can get the job done all the time. But if it’s not done the right way, you may not get better. After a year here, I really believe we’ve realized what and how, and now we need to we’ll do the part. We’ll have to work to do it. It won’t be an easy job. But it’s definitely a job Ben can do. “
Simmons is in doubt about playing for Australia in the Tokyo Olympics and is expected to make the decision in the next day or two, sources said ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. He plans to spend the summer developing skills. The Australians are medal contenders and will start training this week in Los Angeles and next month will play two exhibition games against Team USA in Las Vegas.
Since entering a field in a Sixers shirt at the start of the 2017/18 NBA season, Simmons has shown many advantages including his size and speed, excellent passing and being one of the most versatile defenders in the league.
It’s a package that resulted in Simmons being nominated to three All-Star teams and one All-NBA team and winning the 2018 Rookie of the Year award. It’s also a package that was noticeably lacking in an outdoor shot. And while Simmons often revolved around being an unwilling 3-point shooter, Simmons rose in those playoffs from a 60% foul shooter in the regular season, the territory he played in each of his four NBA seasons was, to 34.2%. in the postseason.
“I don’t shoot well from the line in this series,” said Simmons after losing in Game 7 on Sunday night. “I wasn’t there on the offensive. I haven’t done enough for my team-mates. … There are many things that I have to work on.”
Rivers said the team needs to make Simmons a more confident foul shooter – and that if that can happen, everything else will be fine.
“We’re not hiding the fact that Ben needs to become a better free-throw shooter and a more confident free-throw shooter,” said Rivers. “When that happens, I really think there will be a lot of other parts of his game following. I said that, if you remember, before the season. The first thing I said was, ‘We have to get him to the line 10 times a night bring. ‘ And wanting to go on the line 10 times a night. So we have to work to get him there. But if we get him there, man, his game will be taken to another level. “
Rivers also made waves immediately after losing Philadelphia when he said “I don’t know” in response to a question on whether Simmons could be a championship level point guard.
On Monday, Rivers tried to backtrack a bit, repeatedly saying he believed in Simmons and was confident he can make the improvements necessary to help the Sixers shake off the devastating disappointment this streak had with the end of the regular season best record in the east has lost conference.
“I’m positive at Ben,” said Rivers. “I’m still very optimistic about Ben. But there is work. There is work. There are. And Ben will be ready to do it. Sometimes you have to go through things to see them and be honest with them.
“Of course, what Ben just went through … I can’t imagine. Because he’s got so much great in all of the things around him, and there are areas that I think he can fix and get better quickly, that will take him to another level. And, you know, sometimes you don’t know why you’re in different places, do you know what I mean? But this can be one of them and I see this as a big challenge, but definitely makeable.”