If I gave you three storylines off the top of my head, three “narratives” that might define the Sixers’ season, I think I’d give you these, in order:
- keeping Joel Embiid healthy and “delivering” him to the postseason
- Ben Simmons’ jump shot, or lack thereof, specifically as it relates to spacing
- perimeter shooting in general with the departure of JJ Redick and Jimmy Butler
Without Markelle Fultz in the fold this year, I guess the *hot* training camp item would probably be Simmons shooting video, which we’ve collected over the course of a full season now. Ben would spend part of every 2018 pregame warm up shooting from various distances, so if you made it down to the Wells Fargo Center early enough, you’d see that as part of his routine. He just didn’t shoot those shots during the game.
Has anything changed since then? Summer alterations to his mechanics? Sound muscle memory? Here are a few video clips via Jon Johnson and Rich Hofmann:
Hard to see where the elbow is from that angle. At times in warm ups last year, you were still seeing the ball come out with side spin when his left elbow would flare out.
Ben Simmons working on jumper at camp. pic.twitter.com/F5ymzADKXn
— Jon Johnson (@jonjohnsonwip) October 3, 2019
Keep in mind, too, that practice isn’t opened to media until the final 15 minutes or so. What we get is the tail-end of every training session, then whatever time the players want to spend shooting around or doing things on their own.
Another angle of what looks like the same sequence:
He moved out to three a little bit after, knocked some down in catch-and-shoot situations (although to be clear, he’s shot these in practice plenty of times before).
— Rich Hofmann (@rich_hofmann) October 3, 2019
So there you go. If you want to analyze it, go for it. Not sure about you, but I’m just looking ahead to Saturday’s scrimmage in Wilmington, which will be our first glimpse of 5v5 action featuring post-summer workout Ben Simmons.