HOUSTON — Things could get scary for Sixers opponents when Ben Simmons develops a jump shot.
Right now, the 76ers point guard gets to the rim at will. But there's a thought the 6-foot-10, 240-pounder will be impossible to guard once he adds a consistent outside jumper to his game.
He knows it. So do opposing coaches, some of who are already marveling over what is not a finished product.
"Everyone knew he was going to be good, but he's way better than expected," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said after Saturday's 112-110 loss to the Sixers. "Some of the plays, just amazing stuff — the follow dunk, some of the passes.
"He's not a great shooter, but compensates well with movement, driving the ball, posting up, things like that."
That night, Simmons finished with a career-high 23 points to go with eight assists, seven rebounds, three steals and one blocked shot. The 21-year-old is averaging 17.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 7.5 assists through six career games. And he's far from satisfied.
"I thought I'd be playing better, honestly," Simmons said. "I need to pick it up. It's awesome [being in the NBA]. I wouldn't want to do anything else. I love what I do. I'm just grateful to be here, just got to keep working."
Simmons wants to work on his scoring from the elbow, low block and the lane and finishing around the basket. He also wants to improve on his rebounding and assists and help the Sixers win more games.
But shooting from the outside is perhaps his glaring weakness. As a result, he was asked how developing a consistent outside shot would help his game.