76ers Will Go as Far as Ben Simmons' Shooting Will Take Them

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 08: Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers attempts a free throw against the Guangzhou Long Lions during the preseason game at the Wells Fargo Center on October 8, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 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. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Guangzhou Long Lions v Philadelphia 76ers | Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Much has been made about the Philadelphia 76ers loading up on big bodies in the offseason, as Brett Brown's group plans to bully teams inside with lineups featuring Joel Embiid, Al Horford, and Tobias Harris.

Having those big bodies are all well and good, especially on the defensive end, but the Sixers' ability to contend for a championship hinges on one question and one question only:

Can Ben Simmons shoot?

Simmons, who is still a triple-double threat every time he steps on the floor, has been the subject of continued mockery for not only his inability to sink anything further away than 16 feet, but his inability to work on his game even an iota to develop even a passable jumper, to say nothing of the three-ball.

When teams start packing the paint to nullify Embiid and dare Simmons to take the reins on offense -- see the 2018-19 NBA champion Toronto Raptors -- Philly struggled. No one is asking Simmons to become Ray Allen, but if he can shoot even a hair above 30% on threes, that could open up a whole new dimension for this offense and kick things into high gear.

If Simmons fails to learn how to shoot, the roadmap to beating the Sixers and preventing the from winning the East is remarkably simple: Pack the paint, don't let Embiid or Harris win down on the low block, and dare No. 25 to shoot.

This team has championship aspirations, and rightly so. It's up to Ben to round out the last glaringly lacking portion of his game and take them there.