Ben Simmons is thinking about making some serious changes to his offensive game after a woeful shooting performance during the 2021 NBA playoffs.
And one of those changes could be switching his dominant shooting hand.
As ESPN’s Brian Windhorst explained on SportsCenter Monday, Simmons, who has shot lefthanded during his career will examine switching to a righthanded shot during the offseason. And he’ll be skipping the Olympics to consider that change.
“One of the things I’ve been told is on the table — hasn’t been decided but is on the table — is examining whether he changes his dominant shooting hand from left to right,” Windhorst said. “Now, that is a radical thing to do. He is ambidextrous. He does do some things in his life righthanded.
“It isn’t insane. There are some statistical measures out there that show he’s not bad shooting with his right hand, but that’s obviously a big change and would take some period of time to implement. But Ben Simmons is going to get serious about trying to address this in his months off coming up.”
Indeed, there are some stats that show Simmons might prefer shooting with his right hand. As Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer outlined, Simmons has taken 70 percent of his career shots righthanded and primarily used his right hand during the 2021 postseason.
Ben Simmons took 95 shots in the playoffs. He tried…
67 shots using his right hand
19 shots using both hands
9 shots using his left hand
In his career, over 70% of his shots are righty.
Simmons in 2016: “I think I was supposed to be right-handed.” https://t.co/6Ox3L37jdY
— Kevin O’Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) June 21, 2021
So, it would seem that it’s natural for Simmons to use the right hand when he has the option. Yet he has largely shot with his left hand from distance and from the line during his career.
But now, it looks like he wants to change that.
It may be a tall task, but it has been done before. Tristan Thompson shot 58.6 percent from the free-throw line during his first two seasons as a lefty. He switched shooting hands ahead of the 2013 season and in the year after his change, he shot 69.3 percent from the line as a righty.
Simmons would certainly take that kind of improvement upon his 61.3 free-throw percentage.
Whether Simmons decides to change his dominant hand or not, Sixers coach Doc Rivers is confident that the 6-10 Australian will make the strides needed to become a better offensive performer this offseason.
“I believe, without going into detail with what we’re doing, I believe we know what the right work is, and the right type of work, and the right way to do it,” Rivers said of improving Simmons’ shooting, per ESPN’s Tim Bontemps.
“You can do the work all the time. But if it’s not done in the right way and the right type of work, you may not improve. After being here for a year, I really do believe we’ve identified what and how, and now we have to do the do part. We have to work to do it. It’s not going to be an easy job. But it’s definitely a job that Ben can do.”