Ben Simmons, in his first few summer league games, was showing off his ability to pass the ball like an experienced point guard and being a facilitator on the floor. His ability to find open teammates in ways that we have not really seen in a long time, is just part of the type of player that Simmons hopes to be.
Another asset that he hopes to bring into his NBA career is an ability to score the basketball — and he showed that last night.
Simmons almost had himself a triple-double on Saturday night against Brandon Ingram and the Lakers, but last night, he showed that he can be someone that scores the basketball, and score it pretty easily. The #1 overall pick out of LSU showed that he is not afraid to take an open jump shot when it is given to him. Players guarding Simmons were lagging off him, waiting for him to pass or drive to the basket, but Simmons showed that if you give him space, he has the ability to make you pay.
It took a few missed shots under his belt, three to be exact, before he found his rhythm, and once he did, he was the most dominating player on the floor.
Simmons finished 7-13 from the floor for 18 points in the loss vs. Chicago. Bulls rookie Denzel Valentine had some nice words about Simmons and his comparison to a certain player in the league today.
“He’s like a mini-LeBron,” the Bulls’ 14th overall pick said after facing Simmons for the first time as a pro Sunday. “LeBron’s probably top 10, so if he’s a mini-LeBron, that’s saying a lot.”
Now, it is very early in Simmons’ career, but he has the ability to become something very special for Philadelphia, and here is why. Simmons already has the passing ability that a veteran facilitator would have. At 19, he has a jump shot that is inconsistent and not broken. If he continues to show that he in not afraid to shoot that jump shot, then it will improve. The best part is, he doesn’t even have to be a great shooter, just something respectable to where players need to guard him more closely.
Simmons in a post game interview said that he needs to start being more aggressive to gain respect around the league. He knows he will have to be the man for the Sixers cause they have so many holes to fill, but Simmons is not afraid of the challenge. He was the best fit for this team because he has the ability to fill so many voids for this team since he is not a one dimensional player.