PHILADELPHIA, Pa — Ben Simmons’ first legitimate three-point attempt stunned the Philadelphia 76ers bench as much as it did the general NBA fan.

The 6’10 point guard, infamous for not shooting, pulled up in semi-transition for a wide open three. It missed, but we were all naturally surprised that it even went up.

One person who wasn’t as shocked: Brett Brown.

After the game, the 76ers head coach explained the conversation he had with his All-Star point guard, on his expanding his game as we reach the back-end of the regular season.

It focused, in part, on Simmons shooting shots like the one he did against the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday (AEDT), and though it missed, it’s a positive step forward.

“We’ve talked about this a lot. I actually thought the shot looked good,” Brown said, postgame.

“I thought the rhythm into it looked good. It was close to going in. He didn’t look uncomfortable shooting it. He and I spoke about this notion for a little bit in the past 24 hours.

“What’s gonna happen in the third third of the season? How do we better help you prepare for the playoffs, what’s coming.

“We all saw, to an extreme, LeBron not guard him. We all have memories of the Celtics’ series. Somewhere in the middle, we have a window of 27 or whatever amount of games left, and I like to try some of this stuff prior to the All-Star break, and take off with it in the final third. It’s a long explanation, but the underbelly of the reason is significant.”

Simmons didn’t address the conversation too specifically, but said that an open look like the one he got during this 76ers win is one he’ll likely look for more of.

“In terms of that, I’m just taking what they give me.” Simmons said.

“In terms of if I see someone backing up and JJ’s coming off, I’m going to give it to him. I will start pulling up, but that’s not one of those things that I’m looking at, it’s not everything. I’m not focused on just doing that, I’m going to play my game, play my strengths and continue to try and get that.”

This was a particularly unusual circumstance for Simmons, with LeBron James guarding him way off the ball.

It wasn’t just the four-time MVP allowing Simmons to shoot that three-pointer, but he was effectively parked in the paint, acting as a roamer, showing no respect to any of the Australians’ game beyond eight feet.

Simmons’ response was to shoot that three-pointer in transition - it rimmed out - but also noted that the defensive strategy led to a lot of open looks for JJ Redick, who excels coming off hand-offs.

“I have a guy, JJ Redick, who loves coming off hand-offs and knocking down shots, so I mean for him he loves it, his eyes were wide open,” the 22-year-old said. “Getting to that and then you see LeBron trying to sprint up when you see me going to the hand-offs, which is easier to get the roll. We just see what we have.”

While we shouldn’t look for Simmons to starting adding the three-pointer as a significant part of his game, there’s a chance we’ll be seeing more of it as the season progresses.

The new All-Star acknowledged the struggles he had during the 2018 NBA Playoffs, when the Boston Celtics played way off him, leading to some of his post-season struggles. His jump-shot has been the most maligned part of his game, but there’s hope that it can come, or at least that some progress can happen.

At least, Brown seems to think so.

“I hope so. It would help him,” Brown said, when asked if Simmons would be shooting more shots from beyond 10 feet. “When that happens, in relation to a legitimate threat, I believe it will happen sooner than others might… I’ve got confidence.”