This is the 16th edition of the weekly 76ers mailbag.
Each week, Inquirer.com followers may submit questions to be answered on Friday.
Missed out on the party this week? No worries. Submit question(s) for next time by following me on Twitter @PompeyOnSixers and tweeting your inquiry with the hashtag #PompeysMailbagFlow.
Let’s jump right into this week’s questions:
Answer: Thanks for asking a question, Brent. I believe Ben Simmons has the ability to be whatever he wants to be. I’m not trying to be funny. I honestly believe the two-time All-Star can develop into a multiple MVP-award winner if he chooses to get out of his comfort zone and attempt perimeter shots. Think about it, lack of an outside shot attempts is the only thing holding him back. Simmons is one of the league’s best defenders, capable of guarding all five positions. At 6-foot-10 and 240 pounds, he’s too big for perimeter players to guard. Simmons, one of the league’s fastest players, is also too quick for post players to defend. He’s unstoppable at the rim in transition.
Simmons will definitely develop into an MVP winner if he gets out of his comfort zone and starts taking perimeter shots. He doesn’t have to make the shots; just attempting them will free up a lot of things for him, thus making the 23-year-old unguardable.
A: Thanks for the asking great question, Andy. It actually turns out to be a great follow-up to Brent’s question. Let’s not get things twisted. Simmons knows how to shoot. He just doesn’t do it. But in regards to never shooting, I would have to answer your promised-land question with a definite “Nah, bruh” if we’re assuming he’s playing point guard. The postseason is a half-court game. Opponents will sag off him in the while he’s on the perimeter -- like they did in the previous two postseasons -- if he doesn’t shoot. As a result, the Sixers will basically play 4-on-5 on offense. That would prevent them from winning an NBA title.
But their chances would be better by sliding him to point forward and allowing Shake Milton to run the point. Simmons could quarterback from the high post and Milton and Tobias Harris could stretch the floor on the perimeter. So that would help with some of the spacing and keep defenders a little bit more honest.
A: Thanks for the question. I answered a similar inquiry last week. Let me just say the Sixers would benefit the most from getting paired up with Boston in a first-round matchup. They match up the best with the Celtics. In my opinion, they would have a tough time defeating the Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors unless they made drastic adjustments from the regular season. I keep going back-and-forth in regards to meeting the Miami Heat.