Ben Simmons' reluctance to shoot for three-pointers continues to be a talking point.
Ben Simmons' reluctance to shoot for three-pointers continues to be a talking point.

Boomers coach: ‘I have failed’ Ben Simmons

ON DECEMBER 8, after Ben Simmons made the second three-pointer of his career, the All-Star point guard's head coach set a goal for him.

"I want a three-point shot a game, minimum,' Brett Brown said after that game - a Philadelphia 76ers win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Since then, Simmons has attempted a grand total of zero three-pointers, and realistically hasn't even come close to taking any.

No plays are drawn up for Simmons to shoot threes, so all of his work continues to be done inside the paint.

Ahead of the 76ers' Tuesday (AEDT) game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Brown was asked about the goal he had set for Simmons, and admitted failure.

"Evidentially, I have failed," the 76ers' head coach said after it was pointed out that Simmons hadn't attempted a three-pointer since December 8.

"It's something that we're all mindful of, and this is one of these things that is never gonna go away.

"The attention that this has received is remarkable, but I guess I helped fuel it. I own it. I've gotta help him find this and, most importantly, he has to help himself."

Brown then got into a bit of sparring with a reporter, who gave a hypothetical.

"If you run a play for Ben to shoot a three, and he's open and doesn't shoot it, and then you run it again, and he's open and doesn't shoot it, what do you do as a head coach?" a reporter asked Brown.

Brown responded: "First of all, that hasn't happened. When it does happen, we can come back and I can give you an answer. And I hear the essence of your questions, and ultimately, that's gonna be something that him and I figure out."

Simmons is averaging 14.9 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 8.6 assists on the season, after signing a five-year, $170 million extension with the 76ers.

The team has shown a lot of promise on the defensive end, but losing JJ Redick in the off-season meant they took a big step backwards on the shooting front.

Naturally, that doesn't help when a team is revolved around a non-shooting point guard in Simmons, and a back-to-the-basket big man in Joel Embiid.

Last Friday, Embiid took what appeared to be a veiled shot at Simmons for his unwillingness to shoot three-pointers.

"We've got to help each other even if it means being outside of your comfort zone for the greater (good) to help the team win," Embiid told reporters.

"Meaning that, if you've got to space and shoot it, you've got to do it. We need everybody to buy into that and we'll be fine, we're going to be fine."

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