Ben Simmons has played his tail off in the Philadelphia 76ers‘ last three games.
On Saturday against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden, the 6-10 Aussie point guard stat line looked like this: 21 points, seven rebounds and eight assists.
On Friday at home against the Chicago Bulls at the Wells Fargo Center, Simmons scored 20 points, hauled in 11 rebounds and handed out seven assists in Philly’s 100-89 win.
In Wednesday’s home win against the Brooklyn Nets, Simmons posted 20 points, handed out 11 assists and got six rebounds.
While much has been made about Ben Simmons’ jumpshot, he is guiding the 28-16 76ers through their current three-game winning streak in Joel Embiid’s absence.
During his Christmas holiday tournament in East Orange, NJ, I chatted with former Philadelphia 76er, Tim Thomas about Ben Simmons’ jumper and he drew some comparison’s to NBA Hall of Famer, Jason Kidd who struggled with his jumper during his career.
A native of Paterson, NJ, Thomas was the seventh pick in the 1997 NBA Draft. In 12 NBA seasons, Thomas played for the Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks, Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Clippers where he averaged 11.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 824 games.
A Villanova product, Thomas was a three-time All American at Paterson Catholic High School in Paterson, New Jersey. In his lone season at Nova, Thomas averaged 16.9 points and hauled in six rebounds in 32 games.
Check out a snippet from our Q&A below:
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: What’s up everybody? What’s up what’s up what’s up…. We have a special guest here…we got my guy Tim Thomas! What’s up chief?
Tim Thomas: What’s goin’ on folks?
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: He played for seven teams in the NBA…
Tim Thomas: Some people would say that I played for every team in the NBA [laughs]
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: You played for the Knicks, the Sixers, the Bulls, the Suns, the Clippers, the Mavs and the Bucks.
Tim Thomas: Knicks and the Bulls twice
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: There you go! We’re actually at his holiday tournament today in East Orange, New Jersey, a lot of teams playing here today…
Tim Thomas: Yeah it’s been good so far man, we started at 10am, we still going and we got one more game after this one…if you’re in the New York or New Jersey area stop by
Brandon ‘Scoop’ Robinson: Somebody in the comments just asked, how are Sixers going to improve?
Tim Thomas: How are the Sixers going to improve? They need to bring me, A.I. and Larry Hughes back! [laughing]. Nah, I’m joking. The Sixers are in a good space. They have the talent and they’re in a good space. I think it’s going to be them and the Bucks probably in the Eastern Conference Finals. We see the game the other night and we saw what transpired so, they are in a good space and I think the Sixers are going to be all right.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: They said by trading Ben Simmons; Simmons is the cornerstone if you ask me…
Tim Thomas: He’s getting better; he just has to work on his shot
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Do you really think – because we look at a player like Jason Kidd for example, all throughout his career the jumper was his thing, he established it and won championship in 2011 in Dallas. Can you be a point guard in the NBA without having a solid jumper?
Tim Thomas: I mean Jason Kidd was a smaller point guard. This guy is 6’8”, 6’9” or 6’10” whatever he is. He’s already been exposed so we already know that the regular season means nothing, so if they leave you open like we used to back in the day with Mugsy Bouges (shout out to the young fella [laughs]), you guys like that when they leave you open you’re gonna get exposed. So at some point you’re going to have to be able to shoot the basketball.