Back on Dec. 7, 76ers coach Brett Brown said he wanted Ben Simmons to take a three-point shot every game.
That has not happened.
In fact, the point guard took only one three-pointer over the next 14 games heading into Monday’s against the Oklahoma City Thunder. That three-pointer was actually a long heave at the end of a quarter against the Denver Nuggets on Dec. 10.
“Evidently, I have failed,” Brown said Monday.
The coach added that Simmons’ lack of three-point attempts is something the Sixers are mindful of. He said it is an issue that is not going to go away.
“The attention that it has received is remarkable,” Brown said. “But I guess I helped fuel it. And I own it. I got to help him find this. Most importantly, he has to help himself.”
In all, Simmons has attempted only five three-point shots, making two, as of Sunday. He shot a combined 0-for-17 on three-pointers during his first two NBA seasons.
The thought was that Simmons would attempt them more frequently.
That’s because he spent the summer working on his outside shooting. Videos of his made attempts went viral. And his teammates raved over his shooting at practice in the preseason.
He made his first career three-pointer against the New York Knicks on Nov. 20. Then came Dec. 7, when Simmons scored a career-high 34 points in a 141-94 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers. His highlight was a catch-and-shoot corner three-pointer to give the Sixers a commanding 61-28 lead with 3 minutes, 41 seconds left in the half.
“You can pass it along to his agent, his family and his friends, and to him,” Brown said afterward. “I want a three-point shot a game, minimum. The pull-up twos, I’m fine with whatever is open. But I’m interested in the three-point shot.”
On Monday, Brown was asked what would happen if he ran a play twice for Simmons to shoot a three-pointer and he refused both times while being open.
“First of all, that hasn’t happened,” the coach said. “When it does happen, I can come back and give you an answer. I hear sort of the essence of your question. Ultimately that’s going to be something that he and I figure out.”