PHILADELPHIA — One month ago, Ben Simmons took — and made — his second 3-pointer of the season in a blowout win over the Cleveland Cavaliers here at Wells Fargo Center. And, after the game, Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown declared he wanted his point guard to take at least one triple a game the…
Instead, Simmons hasn’t attempted one since.
When Brown was asked about that fact prior to Monday night’s game here against the Oklahoma City Thunder, he admitted that his message had failed to materialize on the court.
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“And this is true,” he said with a smile. “Evidently I have failed and it’s something that we’re all mindful of, and this is one of these things that is never going to go away. The attention this has received is remarkable. But I guess i helped fuel it, and I own it, and I’ve got to help him find this, and most importantly, he has to find himself.”
Simmons has officially gone 2-for-5 from 3-point range this season, but all three misses were heaves from halfcourt or beyond at the end of a quarter. The two makes were both exactly the kind of attempts Philadelphia wants him to take: Simmons catching the ball in the corner, rising up and burying a catch-and-shoot 3-pointer.
The lack of 3-point shooting on Simmons’ part is just one of many issues Philadelphia, which came into Monday night’s game ranked 16th in the NBA in offensive efficiency, per NBA.com, have dealt with on the offensive end this season.
But while the focus has understandably been on Simmons and his lack of a jump shot — a consistent theme over his two-plus seasons in the NBA — Brown said that the Sixers as a whole need to shoot more triples, and pointed to the players next to Simmons and Joel Embiid in Philadelphia’s starting lineup — Al Horford, Tobias Harris and Josh Richardson — as the ones who need to do it.
“Of course,” Brown said, when asked if he wants his team to make more 3-pointers. “This is where my problem is. This team needs to find more 3-point opportunities. We do. We need to hunt threes in a more definitive way than we currently are.
“I think the 3-point shot is not about oh we need to make more we need to take more.”