Kobe weighs in on the Sixers' struggles vs Boston.
Philadelphia 76ers rookie Ben Simmons' jump shot issues have been well documented this season, and the Celtics have taken advantage by sagging off the 6'10 point guard in an effort to cut off his drives to the basket. Thus far, Brad Stevens' strategy has worked to perfection as the Celtics own a 3-0 series lead heading into Game 4 tonight in Philly.
While Simmons rebounded from his one-point performance in Game 2 with 16 points on 8-of-14 shooting in Game 3, the Celtics are content with letting him shoot from the perimeter which has proven to be a weakness in his offensive repertoire.
During an appearance on the Chris and Caron show on Fox Sports Radio, Bryant was asked about Simmons' jump shot and its impact on the Sixers vs Celtics series. "Just aesthetically I would say build that thing anew (laughs). I don't think the game came down to that though," Bryant responded (H/T Yahoo Sports' Chris Mannix).
As Kobe noted, Simmons' lack of a jumper isn't the sole reason that the Sixers trail the Celtics 3-0. He also cited the team's inability to get open off the ball and other fundamental issues that Brett Brown's squad struggled with in Saturday's overtime loss.
Via Yahoo Sports' Chris Mannix:
"I think on a fundamental level, being able to get open off the ball is what did them in. They just tried to pop free for the ball, and in that situation you can’t do that. You got to put your body on your defender, hold them off and now you got to pop for the ball. Those are just basic, fundamental things, but those little fundamental things are what cost teams playoff series’ and eventual championships. So it’s those little fundamental things that you’ve really got to focus on from Day 1 in training camp, because if you lose sight of that it comes back to haunt you. In the league, in the NBA, it tends to be overlooked. But Phil [Jackson] never overlooked that stuff. We would do basic things. How to pop for the ball, b-cuts, proper bounce passes, left hand passes, right hand passes. All those little things. As you saw in that Philly series, there were two plays where they turned the ball over on passes.”
Game 4 between the Sixers and Celtics is scheduled to tipoff tonight at 6:00pm ET, airing on TNT.