A spherical target irradiated by laser beams located at 49o and 131° with respect to the polar axis has been considered. The illumination model has been used to evaluate the irradiation non-uniformity assuming circular and elliptical super-Gaussian laser intensity profiles and the irradiation scheme has been optimized by means of the polar direct drive technique. A parametric study has been performed providing the irradiation non-uniformity as a function of the polar direct drive displacement and of the laser intensity profile parameters. Moreover, two-dimensional axis-symmetric hydrodynamic simulations have been performed for a plastic sphere irradiated by laser beams characterized by a constant flat temporal power pulse. In these simulations, the front of the inward shock wave has been tracked providing the time-evolution of any non-uniformity. The results provided by the two methods — illumination model and hydrodynamic data — have been compared and it is found that the illumination model reproduces the main behavior exhibited by the hydrodynamic data. The two models provide compatible values for the optimum polar direct drive parameter and similar optimal super-Gaussian profiles.