The crowd erupted when Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons made his first NBA three-pointer during Tuesday's 144-86 preseason win over the Guangzhou Loong Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association, but head coach Brett Brown isn't sure what all the fuss is about.
According to Paul Hudrick of NBC Sports Philadelphia, Brown viewed it at just another shot in just another preseason contest:
"He made a shot. Good. And that's kind of personally the extent of it for me. I think the whole thing is so overblown. I think in general, it's so inflated the attention, and that's what I think. ... He's young, we got a long season. I'm just not gonna react over it, and I really mean that. He made a three."
Much has been made of Simmons' shooting struggles with no trifectas made on 17 career regular-season attempts over two campaigns, but Tuesday's make could be a sign that he is expanding his range.
Simmons said that the three was a product of the extra work he has put into his game since last season: "I work every day, so to me, it shows. I'm in the gym every day putting in work, so I feel like it's paying off."
Even without the threat of a jump shot, Simmons is viewed as one of the NBA's best young players. Last season, he averaged 16.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 7.7 assists per game en route to his first career All-Star nod.
The Sixers have also reached the second round of the playoffs in each of the past two seasons, and they are favored along with the Milwaukee Bucks to go to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2019-20.
With JJ Redick and Jimmy Butler gone, the 76ers are lacking in terms of accomplished outside shooters. If Simmons can at least keep opposing defenses honest with the threat of shooting and making baskets from beyond the arc, though, it could go a long way toward making up for those losses.
Philly will continue to be an interior-focused team with Simmons, Joel Embiid and Al Horford leading the way in the regard, but Simmons has a chance to take the next step and reach the upper echelon of NBA players if the made three Tuesday was more than just a one-off fluke.