Ben Simmons has played inspired basketball early in this year’s NBA season.
After sitting out the entire 16-17 season with a foot injury, Simmons, the NBA’s first overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft has tallied 18.4 points, 9.1 rebounds and 7.7 assists through the first seven games of the season.
The Aussie leads all rookies in scoring and has notched one triple double this season.
Simmons’ talent was on full display in the Sixers’ win against the Houston Rockets on Monday where he scored 24 points on 10-for-15 shooting and added seven rebounds and nine assists in the 76ers’ 115-107 win.
Currently at 3-4 and in 11th place in the NBA’s early Eastern Conference standing, Simmons is pleased with he and the team’s growth.
But he’s far from comfortable: “I thought I’d be playing better, honestly,” he told The Philadelphia Inquirer.
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“I need to pick it up. It’s awesome [being in the NBA]. I wouldn’t want to do anything else. I love what I do. I’m just grateful to be here, just got to keep working.”
Building within the draft and free agency, the Sixers are young and growing. That’s been the case for a few years in the Trust The Process era.
Now the wins must follow.
But something seems different, for real!
Not quite NBA Eastern Conference royalty just yet, the potential with the combination of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, J.J. Reddick, Jahlil Okafor, Amir Johnson, Markelle Fultz, Dario Saric and Robert Covington is quite intruiging.
The Philadelphia Eagles are 7-1 and living their best life currently with quarterback Carson Wentz. The birds are flying higher today after the acquisition of Miami Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi via trade today.
Perhaps that good energy will fly it’s way from Lincoln Financial Field to the Wells Fargo Center.
The last time the Sixers were a huge threat, Allen Iverson was starting at the 2-guard against Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant and the Phil Jackson coached, Los Angeles Lakers in the 2001 NBA Finals.
“I actually had a poster of AI in my room when I was younger and I just remember him as one of the smaller guards,” Ben Simmons told me after being drafted in 2016.
“With cornrows and the headband and I also had cornrows when I was younger. But I remember him as one of those players that just fought everyday.”
Speaking of Lakers, Lonzo Ball is the topic of every NBA conversation for good or bad reasons, Simmons is a legitimate contender for the league’s Rookie of the Year Award along with Ball and Sacramento Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox.
The Sixers are off today and will face the Atlanta Hawks at home at Wells Fargo Center.