The NBA is already one month into the season, but after a small sample of games we can already see the standout players. Philly’s rookie sensation Ben Simmons has been on fire for the Philadelphia 76ers.
Golden State’s Big Four of Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Steph Curry looks unstoppable. James Harden is a triple double threat even without his new running mate Chris Paul. Kyrie Irving and Boston are thriving despite losing Gordon Hayward. Jimmy Butler has brought swagger to Minnesota while Andre Drummond is motivated again.
The unicorns, Lebron James, Kristap Porzingis, Giannis Antetkounmpo, Nikola Jokic and Anthony Davis are posting up huge statlines at a record pace. Add Ben Simmons to the list.
Simmons, Australia’s very own wunderkind, has been phenomenal for the 76ers. His natural feel for the game allows him to find his teammates easily. Because of this, head coach Brett Brown has given last year’s number one lottery pick the green light to lead Philly to the promised land. Simmons has not disappointed.
Simmons has taken on a leadership role with aplomb and more responsibility by accepting the point guard role for the first time in his career despite playing power forward for LSU. At 6’10” with a 7’0″ wingspan, the southpaw already has a major physical advantage over other guards.
After “redshirting” his rookie year with a broken foot, Big Ben has come out of the blocks to make up for lost time. In eleven games, Simmons has been averaging a sensational 17.8 points, 9.4 rebounds, 7.8 assists, 1.7 steals, 0.8 blocks, shooting 50% FG and 62% FT in 38 minutes. He’s already had two triple doubles, and came close in five other games.
The kid works both ends of the court, making his teammates look better on offense with his elite passing and playing with vigorous energy on D. He’s the kind of baller that players gravitate too – talented, unselfish and humble.
Once Simmons is in transition, he is difficult to stop. He’s tall, but he’s also fast and agile. From defense to offense, he can spot an open man like Dario Saric, JJ Redick or Robert Covington with pinpoint accuracy, play the pick and roll game with ultra-talented big man Joel Embiid or finish above the rim.
His length, athleticism, defensive instincts and aggression makes him a scary proposition for opponents and coaches alike.
With his talent and physical gifts, dare I say, he is a carbon copy of Lebron James. He has patterned his game after his hero, and everything he does is Lebron-esque.
“It’s not just one thing I try to focus on. It’s not just scoring or rebounds or assists. I try to focus on everything and helping the team win, no matter if it’s a play that counts toward the stats or if it doesn’t. I just want to be in the best position the team needs me to win,” said Simmons in a global conference interview.
More importantly, it’s the winning column that matters the most. Simmons has given “The Process” legitimacy. At the time of writing, the 76ers have a 6-5 winning record, good for equal third in the Atlantic Division and 7th overall in the East. After six straight losing seasons, Philadelphia is back in the winners circle thanks to Simmons.
Big Ben’s strong start makes him the favourite to win Rookie of the Year honours. He might even make his All Star debut as early as February. He’s even ranked #57 on NBA Fantasy hoops. His crazy stats don’t always tell the story of how special he is.
Simmons is healthy and focused and that’s all that matters. Aussie Aussie Aussie, oi oi oi.