Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons has finally hit his first career three-pointer, pulling up from distance to knock down that long-awaited triple during a preseason affair against the Chinese Basketball Association’s Guangzhou Loong-Lions on Tuesday night.
The 23-year-old point guard, a former Rookie of the year who was named an All-Star for the first time last season, is not known to be a great shooter – he isn’t even thought to be a decent one – yet he remains one of the Sixers’ biggest threats.
Simmons has drawn much criticism for his inability to knock down a jumper, but he’s been working on it ahead of the opening of the 2019/20 season, as was evidenced by his long-range swish against the Lions.
Philadelphia’s 144-86 victory came as no surprise, with Simmons scoring 21 points in 21 minutes, adding eight rebounds, seven assists, one block, and one steal as the 76ers cruised to an easy win. He shot 50 percent from beyond the arc, scoring one of his two threes, but his long attempt that hit the bottom of the net sent the Philly crowd and his teammates into a frenzy.
The guard’s numbers from three-point land are quite embarrassing as he’s 0 for 17 for his career in the regular season. He says his summer work is paying off, however.
“I work every day,” he told the Philadelphia Inquirer after the game. “So to me, it like shows. I’m in the gym every day, putting in work. I feel like it’s paying off.”
The crowd had urged Simmons to let it fly as the seconds wound down to halftime and he did not disappoint as he spotted up to bury his first-ever NBA three. Despite it only being a preseason game, it should live long in the memory.
“The time went down,” he said. “I had the ball. So I had to take a shot.”
The made three created quite the feel-good moment for the fans yet head coach Brett Brown wasn’t as moved.
“I think the whole thing is overblown,” he declared. “In general, it is so inflated, the attention. … He is young. We have a long season. I am just not going to react over it. He made a three.”
The Sixers will be heading into next season with a very different look. They’ve added All-Star big man Al Horford but lost Jimmy Butler in a trade to Miami that also saw them acquire guard Josh Richardson.
Bet365 has 15/2 odds on offer where their championship aspirations are concerned but they will need to get past Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks to get out of the Eastern Conference. The MVP-led side is 13/10 to win the East with Ladbrokes and 5/1 to win the title with William Hill. If you’re new to betting but looking to get into it and make some cash while enjoying sports this season, don’t hesitate to visit https://bestsportsbooks.ca/sportsbooks/ for a comprehensive betting guide and various other tips.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Clippers are the bookies’ favorites for the championship following the acquisitions of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Betfair has 16/5 on a triumphant postseason for the new-look Western Conference side but their Staples Center counterparts, the Los Angeles Lakers, aren’t far behind after bringing in a superstar of their own in Anthony Davis. And Paddy Power has 7/2 odds on the side bringing the Larry O’Brien trophy back to L.A.
You could also grab Bet365’s 80/1 odds on Simmons winning the MVP Award at the end of the campaign but the reigning Antetokounmpo is the favorite at 3/1 with William Hill.
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