By Harry Allison
It is obvious to everyone who cares about the NBA, probably even Stevie Wonder, that the Sixers rookie phenom Benny Simmons needs to work on his shaky shot.
And now we have confirmation on this conventional wisdom from Kobe Bryant:
“Aesthetically, I would say just build that thing anew,” the Lower Merion High grad and five-time NBA champion said when asked about Simmons’ jump shot during an appearance on Fox Sports Radio.
During his exit interview yesterday, Simmons had a different take.
Asked if he has any plans to change the way he shoots, Simmons said, “I think minor things. But changing the whole shot, no. I think just working on it, adjusting to where I want the ball, loosening my shoulder up, also. Just getting shots up.”
“Obviously, I’m very good at getting to the rim and making plays,” Simmons said. “That’s what they were trying to stop me from doing, and they did a good job of doing that. That’s one of those things where you just want to improve your game and get better. Once you starting hitting the shots, they change up their defense. Everything has a counter.”
Simmons, per NBA.com’s player tracking data, attempted 21 pull-up jump shots during the Sixers’ 10-game playoff run, making just five of them. Fellow rookie standout and Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell, meanwhile, attempted 84 in 11 games, making 26.
Simmons also made just one of four shots attempted between 15 and 19 feet and three of 11 shots attempted between 10 and 14 feet.
If, hypothetically speaking, Simmons makes strides as a shooter this summer, he said, “It’s going to be tough to stop me.”
“The team, we have another guy who can knock down shots and score and also a guy that can make plays. I think it’s going to be scary.”