Ben Simmons MADE A 3-POINTER…big whoop
There are moments that are beyond memorable. In fact, they’re so special that these “moments in time” cause people to remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when they happened. NBA fans swear that one of these moments happened last night, but I’m here to tell you that Ben Simmons’ first made 3-pointer as a pro DOES NOT qualify as “a moment in time.” Actually, I feel like it may be indicative of a string of bad shot decisions in the future.
Now, is Ben Simmons a good player? Absolutely! Anyone who can average both eight rebounds/game AND eight assists/game while averaging at least 15 points/game is a great player. However, you need to dig into his stats a little more to see why my trepidation at anointing him as a shooter is well-founded.
To start off, Ben Simmons has only played two seasons in the league, and over that time he’s shot a very solid 55.4% from the field. The rule of thumb is that the better players shoot at least 50% from the floor, so he exceeds that expectation. However, dig a little deeper and you’ll find that Ben Simmons, while a tremendous floor general and defender, is little more than a good layup-taker.
From 0-3 feet from the rim, his shooting percentage is a terrific 72.3%. Obviously, you would expect a high percentage for shots so close in, but it’s still worth noting his efficiency around the rim. However, push it back to between three and ten feet and his shooting percentage plummets to 32.5% and between 10-16 feet, it plummets even further to 12.7%. Now, you certainly don’t need me to tell you that these are abysmal numbers. This is a criticism that has followed Simmons around since before he was drafted by the 76ers in 2016.
This is why I’m so concerned about people being so inordinately excited about Simmons making his first 3-pointer. I’m not suggesting that people believe it will become a regular part of his game, but people, and maybe even his teammates, will start to expect him to take more than the 17 three-point attempts he’s taken over his first two seasons. I can tell you right now that this will spell disaster.
Another important thing to note is that many sportsbooks who take prop bets will want to capitalize on this hype. DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT buy into this. Don’t take a bet at 5-to-1 odds that Ben Simmons will make a three during a game. He will likely end up making a few this season, which obviously will represent progress for him (he’s never made one in the regular season, so that’s not hard to improve on). However, this is a terrific way for you to waste your money. My advice is don’t do it even if you’re positive it’ll happen on a given night. There’s always a better bet to make.