Fultz showing flashes while Simmons still struggles to shoot
Throughout seven games, Markelle Fultz is finally showing flashes of the player he once was in Washington. He is only averaging 9.9 points a game but this is a great way to start the season for him.
After being drafted with the first overall pick in 2017, expectations for Fultz were high. Many critics thought Fultz would be the next great scoring guard. This hasn’t exactly panned out after he suffered a bizarre shoulder injury before the season.
Despite missing most of his rookie season, the former Husky has been flying around the court on both ends and has brought much-needed energy to the team.
Ben Simmons is playing just as well as he did last year, but there’s a problem with that. He hasn’t seemed to get any better over the summer, despite multiple videos showing his jump shot practice.
This isn’t an urgent problem for the Sixers as long as Fultz is showing flashes and J.J. Redick is scoring 20 points a game on 41.8 percent shooting from deep.
One Twitter user thinks Simmons is inferior to Jayson Tatum and should have spent his summer shooting:
For everyone who says Ben Simmons had a better game than Tatum really didn’t watch the same game I did. Everytime the Sixers started to make a run, he showed up. Ben should’ve spent the summer working on his jump shot. #justsaying #nba #EastGonnaBeFun #AtlanticDivision
— RaptorsKage (@Day1raptorking) October 17, 2018
Is it in Philly’s best interest to keep Redick on the bench?
It might be hard to believe second highest scorer on the Sixers isn’t Ben Simmons, its sharpshooting veteran J.J. Redick. Through seven games Redick has averaged 20 points a game, and he’s coming off the bench.
If anybody on the team is happy about Redick coming off the bench its Fultz. Head coach Brett Brown has given Fultz a unique opportunity to start for the team despite not producing as much as Redick. If Fultz continues showing flashes he might never have to worry about Redick coming back for the starting lineup.
Philly should actually be happy that Redick is playing at such a high level, especially after losing two shooters over the summer. Redick coming off the bench means the Sixers won’t risk a vulnerable backup unit that would feature Fultz.
The team is much better off with Redick’s firepower coming off the bench. Without Fultz to slow down the second unit, Philly can compete without relying on Simmons and Joel Embiid to play 40+ minutes.
The 13-year veteran has been on absolute fire this season:
JJ REDICK. CLUTCH. pic.twitter.com/3I6keqEYfu
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 24, 2018
Why is Simmons still afraid to shoot?
After an entire season and the summer, you’d expect Simmons to be further along with his jump shot. This hasn’t been the case, as he still seems scared of shooting. He hasn’t taken a single three this season and is only averaging 41 percent from the field.
After videos surfaced of Simmons making at least 10 three-pointers in a row, fans expected him to enter the season firing on all cylinders. He took a couple bad jump shots in the season opener again Boston and hasn’t taken a shot since.
This is not a good sign, especially for a team that could stop their search for another three-point threat if Simmons developed his shot. Although Redick has picked up the three-point slack, this is not enough for Philly to have continued success throughout the season.
Even the slightest sign of Simmons showing flashes would put fans’ minds to ease. The season is still early, meaning there is still plenty of time for the LSU product to put up a few shots.
The only problem with waiting on Simmons is the anxiety it sends through the team. At any moment somebody could be traded to bring in someone with complimenting firepower to Simmons’s game.
Hopefully, he will start to show some sign of having a shooting touch from beyond the paint. If it doesn’t happen anytime soon, expect some shakeups in the roster this season to pick up the more offensive slack.
It appeared that Simmons finally practiced his shot this summer:
"Rain Drop ☔️ Drop Top ⬇️ Ohh S**t Ben Simmons Got A Jump Shot🏀" pic.twitter.com/cUQD8RB4Td
— Josh Reynolds (@JoshReynolds24) July 12, 2017