Doc Rivers says he won’t push Ben Simmons to shoot, focused on wins


The Philadelphia 76ers are one of the more talented teams in the Eastern Conference as they get set to challenge for an NBA title in the 2020-21 season. Led by Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, they will certainly be in the mix to represent the East in the NBA Finals.

There is an issue with the Sixers that is a cause for concern and that is Simmons’ obvious lack of a jumper. He works on the shot constantly, but he has yet to really bring it out in a game as he barely shoots any jumpers outside of the paint.

During the team’s 100-93 win over the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday, the Sixers struggled a bit from the field. They were unable to convert on a lot of open looks and there is an idea that maybe Simmons’ jumper could help create more open looks. Coach Doc Rivers was asked about that idea again and he reiterated that he does not care about his shot.

“I want to win,” Rivers said bluntly. “I swear, someone taught me this long ago, you win the game. You keep winning games and you don’t worry about who scores. Ben missed some great shots tonight and if he had converted two or three of the layups that he made and got to the foul line a little bit more, he would have been fine. We played good offense tonight. We just couldn’t make shots like literally by our shooters, so that’s all I’m concerned with.”

To Rivers’ point, Simmons’ aggressiveness put the Raptors in trouble. All-Star Pascal Siakam fouled out and guys like Kyle Lowry and Aron Baynes had foul issues as well. Simmons shot 3-for-11, but his aggressiveness caused issues for Toronto.

“They were collapsing a lot,” said Simmons. “Me getting to the rim trying to draw fouls, I think Siakam ended up with five. A lot of foul trouble on their side but just being relentless in getting to the rim, attacking, and trying to make plays.”

There were also other things that Simmons brings to the floor such as his defense on the Raptors perimeter players as well as his rebounding and distributing. He did end up finishing with 11 points, 13 rebounds, and seven assists on the night and that is what concerns Rivers the most and not his jump shot.

“I could care less,” Rivers added. “I’ll let you guys talk about what Ben doesn’t do. I just want Ben to keep playing great defense, running our team, and winning games.”

The Sixers will now hit the road to take on the Orlando Magic on New Year’s Eve on Thursday.


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