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Looking at the unique Ben Simmons stat that embodies his limitations as a shooter

Brooklyn Nets v Toronto Raptors
Brooklyn Nets v Toronto Raptors

To say that Ben Simmons refrains from shooting 3-pointers would be an understatement. Simmons rarely ever shoots from beyond the arc, but that should be expected. He was never supposed to be a sniper or a high-scoring player.

Let's take a look at some of Ben Simmons' NBA and college stats. We will dive deep into why the conversation surrounding Simmons' shooting woes is contradictory.

Ben Simmons' stats: Shooting

Ben Simmons' stats show no
Ben Simmons' stats show no

Ben Simmons' 3-point stats have been unremarkable. He has only attempted 35 3-pointers through 292 regular-season games. He's shot just 14.3% from 3-point range throughout his career.

The most 3-pointers he's attempted in a single season came during his rookie campaign. He attempted 11 3-pointers in the 2017/18 season. This season alone, eleven players have already averaged eight or more 3-point attempts per game. This is partially due to Simmons' inability to develop a jumper.

Former Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown never put pressure on Simmons to work on that element of his game. He designed his game plans around Simmons' strengths.

Simmons was primarily a power forward in college. He averaged 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists in 33 games with LSU.

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By comparing his college and NBA stats, you can see where he's developed his game. Brown envisioned Simmons as someone who could dominate as a point guard. This is due to his athleticism, size, court-vision and high basketball IQ.

Simmons played a more traditional power-forward role before entering the NBA. When Brown made him the starting point guard as a rookie, it created an obvious contradiction. Simmons was forced to adapt to a new role. He went from being the focal point of an offense in college to a facilitator in the NBA.

Simmons still lived up to expectations, averaging close to a triple-double in his first two seasons. He averaged eight assists during that span, which is more than double his college rate.

It is important to understand why Simmons' critics, who urge him to develop and outside shots, are misinformed. Simmons played three of his five seasons with Brown at the helm. Brown developed him as a point-guard.

Would Simmons have been criticized for not shooting 3-pointers if he played the power-forward position?

However, his low free-throw percentage is something that he deserves criticism for. As an oversized guard who can only score within a few feet of the rim, he should be able to convert his free throws. Teams will force you to earn it at the stripe, especially if you are a career 59.6% free-throw shooter like Simmons.

Simmons is the true definition of the term 'point-forward'. He is valued more for his defense today than anything else.

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As a versatile big with the ability to guard one-through-five, we are better off celebrating him for what he does best.

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Edited by andrew.tysiak
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