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PHOENIX, AZ - JANUARY 02: Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers shoots the ball against the Phoenix Suns on January 02, 2019 at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images)

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Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown told reporters Wednesday that point guard Ben Simmons is “gonna need to [shoot]” for his team to reach greater heights.

Jackson Frank of The Athletic provided the quotes after the 76ers’ 132-127 win at the Phoenix Suns:

Simmons, who went 0-of-11 from three-point range last season, has not attempted a shot from beyond the arc this year.

Simmons’ shot chart reveals a deeper story, as he attempted just 42 shots from beyond 10 feet entering Wednesday, per Basketball Reference. He’d only taken 83 jumpers this season to that point.

The 22-year-old is a monster at the rim, as he made 71.7 percent of his shots in that area. However, his numbers take a huge dip away from the basket: Simmons was just 58-of-133 (43.6 percent) from three to 10 feet.

Simmons can get by without shooting from the outside because he’s an excellent penetrator and scorer around the rim who also happens to be ranked third among qualified point guards in defensive real plus-minus, per ESPN.com.

That being said, the 76ers are in a tough five-team race for the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed. Four of those teams are ranked in the top seven in defensive efficiency, per ESPN.com, and the 76ers are not one of them.

The Toronto Raptors, Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers are all capable of shutting down the 76ers attack, especially if Simmons can’t spread the floor with an outside shot.

Simmons is just two years into his NBA journey, so it’s not as if he’s a finished product who will never have a jumper by any means. But in an era when teams are shooting the three-ball more than ever, Simmons must find a way to keep pace.

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