Brett Brown Wishes Ben Simmons Would Take More Jump Shots

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistNovember 1, 2018

FILE - In this Wednesday, May 9, 2018 file photo,Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown, right, talks with guard Ben Simmons before Game 5 of the team's NBA basketball playoff series against the Boston Celtics in Boston. Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown is expecting more out of guards Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz this season. The guards failed to hit a 3-pointer last season. Brown says the duo will have to be better from long range this season. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)
Charles Krupa/Associated Press

Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown doesn't want point guard Ben Simmons to give up on his jump shot during just his second season of action. 

According to Sixers Insider Jon Johnson, Brown revealed he "wished" the LSU product would take more jumpers. Brown explained Simmons is waiting until he is comfortable to shoot during games to start expanding his offensive arsenal.

Johnson wrote, "The fact Brown spoke to Simmons about jump shot certainly indicates it is of some concern."

It is a testament to Simmons' head-turning abilities elsewhere that he was still able to win Rookie of the Year last season despite missing all 11 of the three-pointers he attempted last season. He is yet to take a long-range shot through seven games this season, although he is averaging 13.7 points, 10.4 rebounds and 8.0 assists per game as the primary facilitator in the offense.

However, there are also worries about the shooting of Markelle Fultz, especially after the No. 1 pick in the 2017 draft played just 14 games last season and made headlines as he attempted to hone his shooting form following a shoulder injury.

Sam Vecenie of The Athletic highlighted the way the Atlanta Hawks defended Fultz by using his man to roam the floor in half-court sets and help with double-teams and clogging the paint:

Sam Vecenie @Sam_Vecenie

This is how the Hawks are defending Markelle Fultz. Essentially, they’re not guarding him any time he’s outside of 15 feet, and using Kent Bazemore as a center fielder to help off on drivers and double post players. Philly has struggled so far. Interested to see how they adjust. https://t.co/NtDYzmFOaw

Defensive sets like that will be a serious issue for the 76ers if Simmons and Fultz are on the floor together because the former does most of his damage by driving into the lane and either scoring himself or finding teammates. Another defender who is already in the paint will only serve to cut off those driving lanes and allow those defending formidable shooters to remain home and contest those looks. 

The 76ers are off to an uneven 4-4 start this season despite hope they can contend for a spot in the NBA Finals with LeBron James no longer in the Eastern Conference. If Simmons can develop a jumper, it will change the way defenses play against him and his teammates and open up additional options for an offense that is rated just 21st in the league, per NBA.com.