It’s New Year’s Eve and the bizarre year of 2020 isn’t going out without a fight. Something wild was inevitable as 2020 drew to a close, and Thursday’s NBA slate did not disappoint. For the third time in his career, Ben Simmons has defied all of our expectations and made another 3-pointer.
The play came with a bit more than eight minutes remaining in the first quarter. The Philadelphia 76ers and Orlando Magic were tied when Joel Embiid kicked the ball into the corner to Simmons. With no hesitation whatsoever, Simmons went up for the shot. Swish.
Don’t expect this to be the start of a trend. It was the first 3-point attempt of the season for Simmons, who is only 3-for-25 from behind the arc for his career. Of those 25 attempts, 10 were considered heaves, meaning he attempts one 3-pointer every 15 games or so.
Doc Rivers has publicly backed Simmons on his refusal to shoot 3s, and early in the season, he hasn’t needed to. Philadelphia is well on its way to a 4-1 record and Simmons has been among the best defensive players and distributors in the NBA. The version of him that can shoot would be unstoppable, but he’s perfectly effective even when he takes those shots intermittently. As appropriate as a new attitude for the new year would be, don’t expect Simmons to turn into Stephen Curry any time soon.