(VIDEO) Ben Simmons’ jump shot is looking really good

When the season ended, Sixers fans were hoping and praying that Ben Simmons would find a jump shot in the offseason. Well, based on this latest video, their wishes may have come true.

Simmons, who recently signed a max-deal with the 76ers, looks like he has been working hard on his jump shot.  You need proof?

Watch below:

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76ers scheduled to appear on national television 24 times next season

After making a big splash in the offseason, the Philadelphia 76ers are must-see TV. The NBA announced the schedule for the 2019-20 regular season today, and the Sixers will have 24 regular-season games that are slated to be on national TV across ABC, ESPN and TNT, including a season-opening matchup at home against Boston on Wednesday, Oct. 23 at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.  Philadelphia will also play 12 times on NBA TV.

The 76ers open the road schedule at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit on Saturday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. against the Pistons, before concluding the team’s first trip on Monday, Oct. 28 against the Hawks at 7:30 p.m. at State Farm Arena in Atlanta.

Philadelphia is set to host 2018-19 Kia NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks at The Center on Christmas Day. The game is set for Wednesday, Dec. 25 and will be televised on ABC, starting at 2:30 p.m. The 76ers’ last Christmas Day home game was played on Dec. 25, 1988, when Philadelphia topped Washington 125-110, as Hall of Famer Charles Barkley tallied 25 points and 12 rebounds. Having played the last two Christmases (Boston, 2018; New York, 2017), this marks the 76ers’ third straight appearance on Christmas Day. The last time Philadelphia played on three consecutive Christmas Days was from 1986-88.

The Bucks, who reached the Eastern Conference Finals last season, and 76ers are set to face off three more times in 2019-20, with each game being played on national television. The two teams will meet twice in the month of February at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee: Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020 at 8 p.m. on TNT and Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020 at 8:30 p.m. on ABC. Philadelphia and Milwaukee will close out the four-game season series at The Center on Tuesday, April 7 at 7:30 p.m. on TNT.

Other notable highlights include:

  • To tip off an early season four-game Western Conference road trip, the 76ers will visit All-Star Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday, Nov. 2 (10 p.m.).
  • On Nov. 6 (9 p.m.), Philadelphia will take on 2018-19 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert, Mike Conley and the new-look Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena.
  • The 76ers will visit the defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors on Monday, Nov. 25 (7:30 p.m.) in the first of four matchups between the division rivals. Last postseason, the two teams played a seven-game Eastern Conference Semifinals series.
  • 2019 No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans will make their lone appearance at The Center on Friday, Dec. 13 (7 p.m.).
  • In the two teams’ second matchup of the 2019-20 season, Philadelphia will visit Boston and All-Star Kemba Walker on Thursday, Dec. 12 (8 p.m.) on TNT.
  • Philadelphia will take on Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday, Dec. 15 (6 p.m.) at Barclays Center in the first of four matchups between the two teams. Also included in the four-game series, the Nets and 76ers will face off in a Martin Luther King Jr. Day matinee on Monday, Jan. 20 (3 p.m.) at Barclays Center.
  • The Dallas Mavericks, led by 2018-19 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year Luka Dončić and All-Star Kristaps Porzingis, will travel to Philadelphia for a Friday, Dec. 20 (8 p.m.) matchup on ESPN.
  • On Saturday, Jan. 25 (8:30 p.m.) on ABC, The Center will play host to All-Stars Anthony Davis, LeBron James and the L.A. Lakers.
  • Three days later, on Tuesday, Jan. 28 (7:30 p.m.), the Golden State Warriors, led by All-Stars Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and D’Angelo Russell will make their lone visit to Philadelphia.
  • The 76ers will play host to 2019 NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, All-Star running mate Paul George and the L.A. Clippers on Tuesday, Feb. 11 (7 p.m.) on TNT.
  • Philadelphia’s March 1-7 road trip will feature games at the L.A. Clippers (Sunday, March 1, 3:30 p.m., ABC), the L.A. Lakers (Tuesday, March 3, 10 p.m., TNT), Sacramento (Thursday, March 5, 10 p.m.) and Golden State (Saturday, March 7, 8:30 p.m., ABC). Three of the four games will be nationally televised.
  • On Tuesday, March 31 (7:30 p.m.) on TNT, the 76ers will take on Houston Rockets’ All-Stars James Harden and Russell Westbrook in the only game between the two teams in Philadelphia.
  • The 76ers will have 18 weekend games (six Fridays, seven Saturdays, five Sundays) at The Center.
  • Philadelphia will play six games on ABC this season, tied for the most in the NBA (L.A. Lakers).

Philadelphia’s final regular season game is scheduled for Wednesday, April 15 at The Center against the Hornets.

 BREAKDOWN BY MONTH:

OCTOBER: 4 games (2 home, 2 road)

NOVEMBER: 16 games (7 home, 9 road)

DECEMBER: 16 games (9 home, 7 road)

JANUARY: 13 games (6 home, 7 road)

FEBRUARY: 11 games (6 home, 5 road)

MARCH: 15 games (8 home, 7 road)

APRIL: 7 games (3 home, 4 road)

Brand on Simmons: ‘He is one of the NBA’s most dynamic and talented young players’

The Philadelphia 76ers officially announced the extension for Ben Simmons on Tuesday, and according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, it’s a five-year, $170M contract with no option in final year and a 15 percent trade kicker. Simmons’ contract extends through the 2024-25 campaign.

With the move, the 76ers have the following core players under contract until at least 2023:

Joel Embiid: 2023
Tobias Harris: 2024
Al Horford: 2023

This is the core that GM Elton Brand and the 76ers’ organization will go with in their quest for an NBA title, which will be led by Embiid and Simmons.

“Ben Simmons is an important piece of our core, and he is one of the NBA’s most dynamic and talented young players,” 76ers GM Elton Brand said. “It was a priority for our organization that we finalize a contract extension with Ben this summer. He was Rookie of the Year in his first season, an All-Star in his second and we expect him to continue to grow and succeed for seasons to come. Ben positively impacts the game in so many ways, and we look forward to continuing our championship pursuits with him as one of our leaders.”

Last season, Simmons, 22, averaged career highs in points (16.9) and rebounds (8.8) to go along with 7.7 (sixth in the NBA) assists and 1.4 steals per game en route to his first career All-Star Game selection. But he had his struggles in the playoffs, especially against the Raptors in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Simmons averaged 11.6 ppg, 7.3 rpg, and 4.9 apg in that series. Those struggles are mainly because Simmons does not have a consistent jump shot.

If the 76ers want to take that next step, Simmons has to grow his game, which according to Tobias Harris, Simmons is working on this offseason.

“He’s made big improvements on his game; his jump shot is looking really good,” Harris said last week about Simmons. “He has the confidence to shoot it, and I just kept telling him there, ‘like, even in this workout when you are playing, have the confidence to shoot them and don’t get discouraged if you miss. This is where you build that type of confidence.’ So, it was a good sight to see how hard he has been working. He looks really good for a great year.”

If Simmons never develops a consistent jump shot, he will still have a lot of success in the NBA as evidenced by what we have seen thus far in his career.

However, if he grows his game, and develops a reliable perimeter game, he will be tough to guard, and Philadelphia should be able to take that next step as a team, which could be an NBA title.

Tobias Harris on Simmons’ jump shot: ‘He has the confidence to shoot it'(VIDEO)

Philadelphia 76ers G Ben Simmons can do a lot of things on the basketball court. He is an adept passer and has great vision; he can get to the lane and finish around the basket, and he is a solid defender. However, the one thing that is missing from his game is shooting.

In two NBA seasons, Simmons has not hit one three-point shot in his career(0-17), and he rarely takes jump shots. Last season, Simmons was 2-21 from shots between 15-19 feet, and he was 18-71 from 10-14 feet. Most of Simmons’ points have come on drives, putbacks, or in the post.  While he was an All-Star last season, he did have issues against the Raptors in the Eastern Conference semifinals, but maybe that will change next season.

According to Tobias Harris, who inked a five-year, $180 million deal to return to the 76ers, Simmons’ jump shot has looked good this summer.

“I was out in L.A, and I had linked up with Ben to workout,” Harris said today at his introductory press conference. “We played a lot of one-on-one. He’s in the gym religiously every day, grinding and getting better. He’s in great shape. Everybody was trying to figure out why I was guarding him at the three-point line. It was really because he hit two of them. When I dared him to shoot two of them, he hit two in a row, so that’s why I was there.

“He’s made big improvements on his game; his jump shot is looking really good. He has the confidence to shoot it, and I just kept telling him there, ‘like, even in this workout when you are playing, have the confidence to shoot them and don’t get discouraged If you miss. This is where you build that type of confidence.’ So, it was a good sight to see how hard he has been working. He looks really good for a great year.”

The 76ers have reportedly offered Simmons a five-year, $170 million extension, so they believe that he will develop his jump shot. Simmons is a very good player, and if he can make a 15-footer consistently, he will be tough to guard for years to come.

Are 76ers better today than they were at the end of last season?

The Philadelphia 76ers were very active on the first day of free agency. They reportedly re-signed Tobias Harris to a five-year deal, traded Jimmy Butler(signed four-year deal with Miami) to the Heat in a sign-and-trade for Josh Richardson(deal still being worked on), and signed Al Horford to a four-year contract. Also, Mike Scott re-upped with the team, and JJ Redick has moved on to the Pelicans. These deals can’t be official until July 6.

So, at this point, Philly’s projected starting lineup is Ben Simmons, Richardson, Harris, Horford, and Joel Embiid. That is an excellent lineup, and this lineup has the potential to be very good on the defensive end. All the starters will be at least 6’6″ or taller. However, is it better than what they had to finish last season? Not so sure.

One of the issues Philly had before they brought in Butler, was not having a guy who can beat you off the dribble and effectively create their own shot. Butler did that for the 76ers. He was a guy you can give the ball to and ask him to make a play, which was on full display against the Raptors in the playoffs, where he led the team in points per game(22.0) and assists per game(5.6). He was Philly’s best player in that series. People forget it was Butler who tied the game up late in the fourth quarter before Kawhi Leonard hit that miracle shot to close out the series. With Butler taking his talents to South Beach, it’s going to be imperative for Ben Simmons to step up. Simmons, who made his first All-Star team last season, can do a lot, but since he has not developed his jump shot yet, he can’t be your closer. Also, Harris is a good offensive player. However, while he is solid off the dribble, he is not Butler, and for as good as Embiid is, he is not a guy who can get a shot off the way Butler can late in games.

It’s going to be interesting to see how this new lineup works for Philadelphia. It’s definitely more versatile and more athletic, on paper than what they had last season, but in terms of better, time will have to be the judge of that. Remember, this team was a couple of bounces away from advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals and beating the eventual champions, the Toronto Raptors.

Obviously, they will add more pieces to this roster, but for now, it’s too close to call on whether this starting five and team will be better than what they had last season.

I guess we gotta see how this all plays out!

76ers’ Ben Simmons named Eastern Conference Player of the Week

The NBA announced today that Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played between Monday, Feb. 25 and Sunday, March 3. This is the second time in Simmons’ two-year career he has received the honor and first since April 2-8, 2018.  With Joel Embiid named Player of the Week for Dec. 31-Jan.6, Philadelphia becomes the fourth team in the NBA this season to have multiple players receive the honor.

Simmons joins Embiid and Andre Miller as well as Hall of Famers Allen Iverson, Charles Barkley, Julius Erving and Moses Malone as the only Philadelphia players to receive the honor multiple times since its inception in 1979-80.

Simmons led the 76ers to a 2-1 week, including road wins over Western Conference opponents, New Orleans and the Oklahoma City. The week saw Simmons average 16.7 points, 13.3 rebounds, 8.0 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.0 blocks per game, while shooting .550 from the field. He is one of two players in the NBA this season to hold these averages over single a week.

The Australia native opened up the week with a 14-point, 12-rebound performance, good for one of his three double-doubles of the week and one of his 36 on the season. At halftime, Simmons had 12 points and 11 rebounds. This was the third time this season he had posted a double-double in a game’s opening half.

On Thursday, Simmons led Philadelphia to its first-ever win in Oklahoma City as he recorded his ninth triple-double of the season with 11 points, 13 rebounds, 11 assists, two blocks and two steals. He is the only player in the league this season record a triple-double against the Thunder and he is the first player from the East to do so in Oklahoma City since Dwight Howard on Nov. 12, 2008.

Simmons closed out the week with his second straight triple-double and 10th of the season with 25 points, 15 rebounds, 11 assists and three steals against Golden State. He is the only player in the NBA this season to put up such a stat line in a single game and is the first Eastern Conference player to post a triple-double versus the Warriors this season.

Across the three games, Simmons accounted for nearly .300 percent of Philadelphia’s rebounds and assists.

Overall, the Louisiana State product holds season averages of 17.0 points, 9.1 rebounds, 7.9 assists and 1.3 steals per game. He joins Denver’s Nikola Jokić and Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook as the only players in the league averaging at least 17 points, nine rebounds and seven assists per game.

 

Ben Simmons selected to his first NBA All-Star game

The NBA announced today that Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers was named an Eastern Conference reserve for the 2019 All-Star Game in Charlotte, North Carolina. It’s Simmons’ first career All-Star selection as he becomes the 32nd 76er to be named to an All-Star Game in franchise history.

Simmons will join teammate Joel Embiid as an Eastern Conference All-Star this season. The two become the first pair of 76er teammates selected to an All-Star Game since Hall of Famers Allen Iverson and Dikembe Mutombo were both selected in 2002.

This season, Simmons is averaging 16.7 points, 9.5 rebounds and 8.2 assists per game while shooting .569 percent from the field. He ranks third in the NBA in assists per game and 13th in field-goal percentage, making him the only player in the league to rank in the top 15 in both categories.

The Australia native has recorded eight triple-doubles this season, good for first in the Eastern Conference and tied with Denver’s Nikola Jokić for second in the NBA behind only Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook. Simmons recently notched his 20th career triple-double in his 129th NBA game; the only player ever to reach the mark faster is Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson, who did so in just 45 appearances.

Last week on Jan. 23, Simmons posted 21 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high-tying 15 assists in a 122-120 victory over the San Antonio Spurs. Just 12 days prior, he tallied 23 points, 10 rebounds and 15 assists against the Atlanta Hawks. Simmons is one of four players with multiple games of at least 20 points, 10 rebounds and 15 assists, joining All-Stars Bradley Beal (two), James Harden (two) and Westbrook (four).

The Louisiana State product holds career averages of 16.1 points, 8.6 rebounds and 8.2 assists per game and was named the 2017-18 Kia Rookie of the Year last season.

The Eastern and Western Conference reserves for the 68th NBA All-Star Game were revealed tonight on TNT. Eastern Conference captain Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Bucks and Western Conference captain LeBron James of the Lakers will pick the final teams for the 2019 All-Star Game on TNT in a special NBA All-Star Draft Show on Thursday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. ET. The captains will draft the eight remaining players from the starter pool in the First Round and then all 14 players from the reserve pool in the Second Round, making selections without regard to a player’s conference affiliation or position.

The 2019 NBA All-Star Game will take place on Sunday, Feb. 17 at 8 p.m. ET at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. TNT and ESPN Radio will air the game live in the United States. NBA All-Star 2019 will reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages.

The 14 reserves were chosen by the NBA’s 30 head coaches. The coaches voted for seven players in their respective conferences – two guards, three front court players and two additional players at either position group. They were not permitted to vote for players from their own team.

Ben Simmons named to Mountain Dew Ice Rising Stars

The NBA announced today that Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons has been selected as a participant for MTN DEW ICE Rising Stars during NBA All-Star 2019. The game will be played on Friday, Feb. 15 at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. Tipoff is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET and the game will be broadcast on TNT and ESPN Radio.

This is the sixth straight season in which the 76ers have had at least one player named to the event.

Simmons (Australia) will represent the World Team for the second consecutive season. This season, he is averaging 16.6 points, 9.5 rebounds and 8.2 assists per game while shooting .581 percent from the field. He leads all first and second-year players in assists per game, while ranking third in both rebounds per game and field-goal percentage.

The Australia native has recorded eight triple-doubles this season, good for first in the Eastern Conference and second in the NBA behind only Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook. Simmons recently notched his 20th career triple-double in his 129th NBA game; the only player ever to reach the mark faster is Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson, who did so in just 45 appearances.

During the week of Jan. 7-13, Simmons held averages of 18.8 points, 11.8 rebounds and 10.3 assists per game. He is the only player in the Eastern Conference to average a triple-double over a single week this season.

The Louisiana State product holds career averages of 16.1 points, 8.7 rebounds and 8.2 assists per game and was named the 2017-18 Kia Rookie of the Year last season.

The 25th Rising Stars will pit 10 first- and second-year NBA players from the United States against 10 first- and second-year NBA players from around the world in the league’s annual showcase of premier young talent during NBA All-Star.  MTN DEW ICE will serve as the title partner, expanding on its continued commitment to supporting up-and-coming stars throughout the sport.

Boston’s Kyrie Irving (U.S. Team) and Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki (World Team) will serve as honorary coaches in MTN DEW ICE Rising Stars.  The official Rising Stars head coaches will be an assistant coach from each 2019 NBA All-Star Game coaching staff.  The All-Star Game coaching staffs are determined by the best record in each conference through games played on Sunday, Feb. 3.

NBA assistant coaches selected the MTN DEW ICE Rising Stars rosters, with each of the league’s 30 teams submitting one ballot per coaching staff. A ballot consisted of four front-court players, four guards and two additional players at either position group for each team.  Voters also had to choose a minimum of three first-year NBA players and three second-year NBA players for each team.  Coaches were not permitted to vote for any player on their team.

76ers GM Brand: ‘In Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, we have two of the NBA’s top 20 players’

Happy times in Philadelphia as the 76ers acquired All-Star Jimmy Butler and Justin Patton from Minnesota in exchange for Dario Saric, Robert Covington, Jerryd Bayless, and a 2022 second-round pick.

With the move, the 76ers have put themselves in position to contend for an NBA title this year and beyond.

76ers GM Elton Brand believes adding Butler to what they have with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons gives Philadelphia a legitimate chance against the top teams in the NBA:

“We have a championship window that’s centered around the continued progression of our talented young core, as well as our ability to add elite players who elevate our program,” Brand said. “In Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, we have two of the NBA’s top 20 players. Now, we’ve added a third top-20 player in Jimmy Butler, who is one of the NBA’s very best on both ends of the floor. This move further strengthens our pursuit of a championship and gives us a formidable combination to take on the league’s top teams.”

Butler, who has been selected an NBA All-Star in each of the past four seasons, has appeared in 10 games (all starts) this season with Minnesota, averaging 21.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.4 steals (third in the NBA) in 36.1 minutes per game.

Regarding Simmons and Embiid being top 20 players in the NBA, Embiid is a top 20 player. He is an early season MVP candidate averaging 27.7 ppg and 13.9 rpg. At times, he has been unstoppable. Embiid has two 40-pont games in this young season

Concerning Simmons, he has top 20 ability, but I don’t think he is a top 20 player just yet. However, if the 2017 Rookie of the Year can develop a jump shot or something close to it, he will be a legit top 20 player as well.

No matter how you view Embiid and Simmons, it is safe to say that the 76ers have two young players that could be superstars for years to come.

 

76ers’ Brown: ‘I am proud of the fact that 2 of the past 5 ROY have come from our program’s development efforts’

Ben Simmons had a great rookie season for the Philadelphia 76ers, and that great season was recognized last night at the NBA Awards as he was named the 2017-18 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year.

Simmons appeared in 81 games averaging 15.8 points in 33.7 minutes per game, while his averages of 8.1 rebounds, 8.2 assists and 1.7 steals per contest led all rookies.

Two of the last five Rookies of the Year have come from the 76ers(Michael Carter-Williams ROY 2013-14). A fact that makes 76ers head coach Brett Brown very proud.

“I am proud of the fact that two of the past five Rookies of the Year have come from our program’s development efforts, which are the bloodline of our culture,” Brown said.

“Ben Simmons is so much an example of this fact. He had been a college four-man and transitioned into the NBA as a point guard; that, in itself, is an amazing story. This positional change and added responsibility only confirms how exciting his future is as a multi-dimensional player. His character and his talents will be a building block of our championship quest for many, many years. I am so proud to share in his award and so proud of his teammates for also helping him achieve this recognition.”

While the team has struggled over the years in terms of winning basketball games, the 76ers have done a decent job of developing talent. Players like Robert Covington and T.J. McConnell have developed into solid players under Brown.

After winning 52 games last season, and winning their first-round series against the Heat, the 76ers are in a good place right now, but it’s time for this team to take that next step. Simmons and Markelle Fultz need to improve from the perimeter, while Joel Embiid needs to improve in the post.

The 76ers will take that next step with proper player development, which history shows is a strength for this team.