Stop if you have heard this before, but there is a positive report on the shooting of the 76ers’ Ben Simmons.
The firsthand report came from Sixers forward Tobias Harris, who was recently in Los Angeles working out with Simmons, the All-Star point guard who is 0-for-17 in his two regular seasons shooting three- pointers. Simmons didn’t attempt a three in 12 postseason games this past season.
It wasn’t only three-point range where Simmons was shy. According to NBA.com, 443 of the 540 regular-season field goals he made were from less than five feet and another 76 were from 5 to 9 feet.
Harris, who recently re-signed with the Sixers for five years and $180 million, was among six players who attended a news conference Friday for the new signees/additions at the team’s Camden practice facility.
Harris said he and Simmons were working out earlier this week in Los Angeles. The two played a lot of one-on-one.
“He is in the gym religiously every day, grinding and getting better,” Harris said of Simmons. “He is in great shape.”
Harris said that others in the gym were giving him a hard time when they saw that he was playing Simmons tightly at the three-point line.
“I dared him to shoot two of them and he hit two of them in a row,” Harris said. “That is why I was there.”
Harris said Simmons has made noticeable strides.
“He has made big improvements in his game, his jump shot is really good, he has confidence to shoot it, and I just kept telling him there in his workouts, to have the confidence to shoot it and don’t get discouraged if you miss,” Harris said. “This is where you build that type of confidence. It was a good sight to see.”
So naturally, Harris has big hopes for Simmons as the point guard enters his third NBA season.
“How hard he has been working, he looks really good and is going to have a great year,” Harris said. “All we have been talking about is this team and how fun it is going to be this year.”