Moving Ben Simmons to the 4 nullifies the skillset that one day could make him the best player in the world. What are the 76ers coaches and their management really thinking? Playing Ben at the power forward impedes his progression. Stop the nonsense.
Sixers to move Simmons to the 4
As most Sixers and NBA fans found out this week, Philly coach Brett Brown plans to move Ben Simmons to the power forward for the 2020 playoffs in Orlando’s bubble.
Are Sixers making a mistake?
Alot of the media and fans think this is a great move. I don’t agree with them. This is Head Coach Brett Brown’s last ditch attempt to save his job. We will get into why I don’t think its not a good decision shortly.
I think Brown knows as I know and knew before Philadelphia’s playoff matchup with Toronto that The Sixers can’t take the next step and become a true contender until Simmons can keep defenses honest with the ability to pull-up for a jumper
It doesn’t need to be a three pointer. A 15-18 foot pull up would be fine. He doesn’t even have to shoot well. The shot just has to be able to show teams that he can make it at first, respectable enough that defenses can’t cheat when guarding him .
This makes Simmons teammates better as well as himself. If good NBA defensive teams or elite defenders like Giannis or Kawhi know your not going to attempt to pull-up, then they aren’t going to let you drive the lane.
Lebron and the Skillset
When Lebron James entered the NBA no one had ever seen a player with his skillset. That skillset consisted of size, speed, strength, athleticism, and vision in a perimeter player who was the legitimate size of a power forward.
Ben Simmons has this same skillset but not at the 4. The one thing he can’t do is shoot to the effect that he doesn’t even attempt to.
Regular Season VS. The Playoffs
I see fans posting comments on social media pointing out what Ben does good and stating that shooting is just one aspect of his game.
In regular season terms I’ll buy what your selling there. The playoffs are a different animal however, his ability to not attempt and even miss shots is a liability. It takes Ben out of the offense unless the Sixers are pushing in transition.
Ultimately bogging down the offense and leading to long possesions and when the shooter gets the ball then the shot is as contested as a shot can be.
Playoff games are played tighter and tougher. You might get a 1st round series where the other team isn’t known for their defense and the games are played more like regular season games. By round 2 that changes and the game that you play during the season has to be adaptable to the posttseason.
Not shooting at all is something that will continue to prove to be an obstacle in the playoffs. One that the Sixers will not overcome until Ben can keep these defenses honest. The problem being that this liability will prevent Philly from winning a title until it isn’t a problem anymore. The playoffs are a game of match-ups and adjustments.
Simmons at LSU
During Ben Simmons one season at LSU, head coach Johnny Jones decided to play him at the power forward spot. As a player Ben had a good season, he averaged 19.2PPG-11.8RPG-4.8APG-2.0SPG. These are nice numbers but one of many instances where stats don’t do the context of the situation justice.
The LSU Tigers didn’t even make the NCAA tournament and slumped throughout the 2nd half of the season after a healthy looking start.
I strongly believe that if LSU played Ben at point guard they would have without a doubt made it into March Madness and The NCAA Tournament.
Hers’s a video showcasing some of Ben Simmons offense from the power forward spot at LSU. You will not see any low post moves. Its posting up and going to the hole taking advantage of smaller collegiate bigs who aren’t NBA caliber talent. This won’t happen in the NBA. Not that it was successful in team terms at LSU.
What makes Ben Simmons a unique talent
What makes Ben Simmons a truly unique talent is how fast he pushes the ball in transition and the vision he displays in doing so.
If you move Ben Simmons to the 4 you nullify this from his skillset. You nullify his greatest weapon, The other team doesn’t have to figure out how to stop what makes him special, his own team is doing it before the ball is even tipped off.
Ben is a match-up problem. His moves like the fastest and most athletic point guards but with superior size and strength.
The move to power forward
Ben simmons can be contained as a point guard because of the non existance of a jump shot. If he could pull up there wouldn’t be any containing him. Every player on the Sixers would benefit from this. If his shot is falling or not just having the other teams defense knowing he will pull up is all it takes to open the floodgates.
Then when teams have to double him, his superior vision can take precedence. This player, this Ben Simmons has the chance to be the best player in the world. It can’t happen at power forward, this scenario only happens at the point guard position. Teams and there coaches still plan for him first and foremost than any other Sixers player without the ability to shoot the ball.
He is an anomaly at the point. Why would you nullify the thing that keeps coaches up at night. Moving him to the 4 is an idiotic attempt for Brown to keep his job. He knows if he plays Ben at point its evidentally going to end the same way as it did last year. So Brown is trying to fool himself instead.
Simmons doesn’t possess a post game. He’s not going to stretch the floor. What it does is take away him pushing the ball in transition where he is deadly. He won’t be able to use his vision properly either. As a power forward he loses the physical advantages he has like size and strength.
He should still have a speed and quickness advantage but unlike LSU where he was still bigger than most of the bigs he faced that won’t be the case in the NBA.
The long term effects
At LSU he’d back someone down or fly by them. I’m sure he’ll have some highlight reel moves but will this experiment hurt the progression of his shot from the perimeter in the long run?
If not it shouldn’t matter much but Simmons has Lebron’s skillset something no one before Bron ever possessed. He has a chance to win championships once he develops a jump shot.
If Ben Simmons is someday the best in the NBA and winning titles, it will be at point guard. The things that make him capable of reaching this level of greatness are taken away from him at power forward.