The Philadelphia 76ers won their second straight preseason game on Monday night, a 120-114 victory over the Orlando Magic. The big story from this one was the play of 2017 No. 1 overall pick, Markelle Fultz. The former Washington product hit four jumpers, including a three-pointer, en route to a 12-point, six rebound effort.
While we've seem Markelle progressively get more comfortable taking jumpers, the jury is still out on Ben Simmons. Ben had a semi-quiet night by his standards on Monday, scoring nine points to go along with seven assists and five rebounds in 22 minutes. After the game, Simmons was asked about the work he put in on his perimeter game this summer and whether or not we should expect him to put up some three's this preseason.
"No," Simmons told reporters with a smirk. "I mean I'm not gonna come out and shoot three's, but getting to the line and working on free throws is something I've been working on too. It's little steps like those that get you to where you want to be."
At this point, people shouldn't be surprised at this and frankly, they shouldn't be disappointed. Simmons was never a three-point shooter in college and with guys like JJ Redick, Robert Covington, Dario Saric and now Markelle Fultz, there isn't really a lot of pressure for him to have to do that. Brett Brown was posed the same question about Simmons after the game.
"I don't care. It's not like I want it or I don't," Brown said. "If it's available, then he should shoot it. Markelle's shots were there, so he shot them. There really probably wouldn't be any that I saw Ben turn down."
It's important that young players go out there and do what they are good at while working on different aspects of their game, but Simmons shooting three-pointers is a big leap in terms of comfort level for the Sixers point man. That being said, Ben's only jump-shot taken on Monday was a turn-around that was blocked by Orlando.
The Sixers continue their preseason in Shanghai, China, on October 5 against the Dallas Mavericks. The game is set for 7:30 a.m. EST.