Ben Simmons’ shooting has always been a point of conversation.
Why does he make layups with his right hand, but shoot with the left? Why is his shooting so inconsistent? Is it his form? Is he really left-handed?
It wouldn’t be one if he’s a brilliant shooter, but we all instinctively look for cause and effect when things don’t go right, and this isn’t much different.
Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer has built his house on “Ben Simmons is shooting with the wrong hand” Island, and it’s an entirely plausible theory, when you look at his tendencies finishing near the rim.
[Simmons] pretty much replicated those results in the Las Vegas and Utah summer leagues, with 31 of Simmons’s 38 non–jump shots coming off his right hand. Is this normal for lefties? No. I also watched 150 non-jumpers taken by left-handed NBA players, and the results were nearly flipped.
Lefties instinctively use their left hand; righties instinctively use their right hand. Simmons is a “lefty” that instinctively uses his right hand. The statistics suggest that Simmons prefers his right, the hand even he admits he thinks he was “supposed to” use. – A Flick of the Wrist
Simmons himself has admitted back in 2015 that he was right-handed in his younger days, but switched over to the left hand later.
He’s good with either hand. He was born-right handed.
“My dad put the ball in my left, and from then on I just started using my left hand,” he said. “It’s definitely helped out.” – Walker: LSU signee Ben Simmons as good as advertised
We work instinctively with our master hand, and for Simmons, it’s much the same, as Sixers head coach Brett Brown observed earlier in the year.
Brett Brown mentioning he'd give Ben Simmons the ball and tell him he has 2 seconds to rifle a ball down the court. He does so right handed.
— Derek Bodner (@DerekBodnerNBA) April 14, 2017
And, there’s also this.
With all that being said, the results outweigh everything else. Does the hand matter, if his shots are going in? No one would debate the issue if he sank half of his threes every night, not even if he used a two-handed shot with his back to the hoop.
Ben Simmons posted a video on his Instagram earlier today, shooting three-pointers and hitting them, one after another.
This obviously has to be put into perspective. Shooting practice isn’t exactly simulating game day; Dwight Howard reportedly made 80% of his free throws in practice, but is a career 56.6% from the line.
The same goes for shot type. Simmons isn’t firing them right off the dribble, pulling up fresh off a high screen, or shooting with a defender in his face. Then again, he might not need to. These shots aren’t contested shots. They’re the shots you get on kick out opportunities, and there will be ample opportunity for Simmons to take shots off the catch like these, when Markelle Fultz is handling the ball.
Regardless, we can see that his shot mechanics are sound, and if anything else, that his catch-and-shoot attempts won’t turn Philadelphia into Brick City.
Results matter. All we need now, is for Ben Simmons to make his official debut in an NBA game, and show it.