The long-standing narrative surrounding Sixers’ All-Star Ben Simmons has been that, while he is a dominant two-way player, he will never be as good as other players because of his reluctance to shoot the three.

This narrative has followed Ben for his entire career to this point. With the NBA moving the remainder of regular-season and playoff games to the NBA Bubble in Orlando, Florida, Ben has begun taking more threes in the scrimmage games leading up to the NBA’s restart.

While this is a refreshing sight for not only Sixers fans but the entire NBA, the question must be posed; “does Ben really need to shoot threes?”

Let’s begin with why this narrative is so prevalent in the first place.

The NBA game has changed dramatically from how it was played 10 years ago, let alone 20 years ago. It is clearly a shooters league. NBA teams are abandoning the mid-range jump shot in order to create more three-point opportunities. Teams are taking record numbers of three-point attempts every season since the Golden State Warriors won their first NBA Championship.

Because of this, the NBA has begun to move away from players who cannot shoot threes as well. And players who were never known for taking three-pointers have adopted the shot into their arsenal. Hence the reason why fans have been so eager to see Ben Simmons take more three-point shots. It was unfathomable for a star player to attempt zero three-point shots in today’s NBA. But here is the harsh reality to the fans who long for Ben Simmons to finally shoot more threes: he doesn’t have to.

Why is Ben Simmons a great NBA player currently?

He is seemingly the only non-center in the NBA who outright refuses to take three-pointers but is still great regardless.

This is due to a few facets of his game which will draw some comparisons to the aforementioned Golden State Warriors. Ben Simmons relies on ball movement, spacing, and his size to get his shots off. Ben is one of the most unstoppable players when driving to the rim in the NBA due in no small part to the spacing created by having shooters around him, as well as his size and strength to fight his way to the basket. And while the Championship Warriors team mentioned earlier didn’t have Ben’s size, and also were more willing to shoot the ball, they were great because of their ball movement offensively. Having three to four legitimate shooting threats on the court and playing with such unselfishness that it creates shots that are almost too wide open made the Warriors great.

Ben’s unselfishness when facilitating the offense as well as the constant threat that he can drive either by you or through you makes him great. Granted, Ben does not have shooters at the caliber of Steph Curry or a Klay Thompson to pass the ball to but just having the threat of a three-point shot going up when Ben passes the ball is reason enough to say that Ben himself does not need to be the one shooting.

This is not to say that Ben Simmons developing a three-point shot would not add an entirely new and impressive dimension to his game, because it certainly would. Ben has the ball control and vision to facilitate the offense. He has the size and strength to get to the rim whenever he wants.

If he were to add onto that a consistent shot from distance, he would be one of the most feared players in the NBA, if he isn’t already. The takeaway here is that it is not imperative for him to add on that extra layer. Would it be nice? Absolutely. Is it necessary? No.

What do you think about Ben shooting more threes?

Featured Image: NBC Sports Philadelphia
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