Ben Simmons: ‘Chemistry is Much Better’ This Season in Philly

by November 21, 2019

Team chemistry is “much better” in Philadelphia this season, according to Ben Simmons.

Simmons, who hit the first three-pointer of his NBA career Wednesday night, says Sixers teammates “are giving up their time to bond.”

Head coach Brett Brown wants the 23-year-old NBA All-Star bombing away from beyond the arc—”on his time frame”—which is designed to give superstar teammate Joel Embiid more room to operate.


“Definitely,” Simmons told ESPN. “The chemistry is much better. Guys are giving up their time to bond.”

There is an unavoidable dissonance between how a team built around Simmons would play compared to a team built around Embiid. The Sixers’ internal data indicates Embiid trails the play on 90% of possessions, Brown says. He cautions Simmons about sprinting Embiid out of the offense. “The game can sometimes run past Joel,” Brown told ESPN last season.

Brown says he has designed plays specifically for Simmons to shoot corner 3s; Simmons had taken none until draining his first career triple against the Knicks Wednesday night. “I want him in the corners,” Brown says. “I want him shooting 3s — on his time frame.”

But if Simmons arrives in the low zone, he needs to stay there, Brown says. “Two inches outside that, and it’s the dead zone,” Brown says. “You’re killing plays. You’re in Joel’s way. You will either be in the corner, or the low zone. Anything else is unacceptable.”

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