Foul shooting has been one of Ben Simmons’ weaknesses, but not recently.
The 76ers point guard is shooting 78.1 percent (25 of 32) from the foul line in the last six games. Simmons had been shooting 58.5 percent from the line prior to the five-game stretch.
“He’s put in time,” coach Brett Brown said. "I would see him take the disappointment of whatever portion of the season where we said it was shooting in the high 50s. It wasn’t like it got to him.
“You could almost see there was an anger that I deserve to shoot better.”
He went 5-for-6 from the foul line against the Golden State Warriors on March 2. His lone setback came on an intentional miss with 10.3 seconds remaining. Simmons followed that up by going 4 of 5 in each of the Sixers’ next two games against the Orlando Magic (March 5) and Chicago Bulls (March 6). Then he went were 3-for-3 against Houston Rockets on Friday before finishing 3 of 5 against the Indiana Pacers on Sunday. And Simmons finished 6 of 8 from the foul line in Tuesday’s 106-99 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“I’m just working,” he said. “Just working with my brother every day.”
Simmons said he arrives before practice to work on his shooting with his brother, Liam. When the Sixers are on the road, Liam flies out to meet his brother so they can work out.
He said the two work out “whenever we get a chance to get in the gym, before the game or after the game.”
Brown noted that isn’t shying away from getting to the foul line.
“The next step will be at the end of games him getting fouled and going to the line and making big free throws in that environment," the coach said. “But I give him credit for his determination.”
Joel Embiid is the NBA leader with 24 games of at least 30 points and 10 rebounds.
His closest competitor, Milwaukee Bucks All-Star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, is second with 22.
Hall of Famers Wilt Chamberlain (53 in 1965-66 season) and Charles Barkley (26 in 1987-88) are the only Sixers with more 30-10 games in a single season.