Author: Pat Doyle
At the recent Fanatic Fan Fest event, Ben Simmons revealed a little bit about the things that he’s been working on in the off season.
Ever since he was drafted, there has been speculation surrounding his jump shot (or his lack thereof). In his rookie season, Simmons did not make any 3 point shots and shot an abysmal 56% from the free throw line. That being said, he still managed to average over 15 points per game which is still a high scoring average especially for a pass-first point guard. In an interview with Fanatic hosts Dei Lynam and Mike Missanelli, Simmons revealed that he “wasn’t trying to do anything… (he) wasn’t comfortable doing.” This explains the lack of jump shot attempts and the emphasis Simmons had on shooting high percentage close range shots.
He also said that players who shoot more jump shots get “a little bit more respect.” They have to be guarded more closely which can make it easier to out maneuver them. Imagine if guys had to play Ben Simmons further out than the free throw line. He is a completely different player with a much more spread floor.
He talked about his free throw numbers, saying: “… a free throw that gets up to 80%, thats about five more points right there.” After talking about all this he also says he’s been “working a lot on certain things that I’ll definitely use.”
What you can infer from this if anything is that Ben Simmons is going to come back to NBA basketball with an improved free throw. We’re not talking 3 pointers right now, but based on this interview and the recent video of Simmons shooting deep mid range shots at a pickup game against other NBA players, we can assume that his free throws and mid range shot will be at play this season.
This may not seem like that drastic of an improvement in his game, but it could be significant. He will be able to work with more spacing than he did before because he will be taking those deeper mid range shots. And the free throws add up, especially for a team that was so close to beating the Celtics in several playoff games last year. Free throws win close games. Also, Simmons can drive to the hoop looking for the foul if he knows he can make his free throws. These improvements may not be Earth shattering, but they could lead to some real statistical upgrades for the sophomore PG.