At this rate, Ben Simmons might qualify for NBA Rookie ofthe Year for a second time, something that has never been done in the historyof any sport.
They might need to create a new category for Simmons: Sophomore of the Year.
The Philadelphia 76ers started the 2018 – 2019 season a bit slow, but they have found a groove and the recent 117 – 111 win over the Detroit Pistons finds them at 18 – 9 for the season.
The team is simply rotten with talent. Simmons seems to be that sort of player who causes those of us of the older set to reminisce about the days of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, the sort of players who seemed to control the flow of the game as though they were master puppeteers with hands on the strings of all the players on the court.
His latest effort contributed 18 points, 13 rebounds and six assists, along with an impressive defensive performance. Even if the NBA All-Star game is one, a joke of major proportions and, two, a popularity contest, leaving Simmons, who was annoyed at last year’s snub, off the squad this year will have Philly fans adding a second crack to the Liberty Bell.
Like the aforementioned Bird and Johnson, Simmons seems to make everyone around him better, with a style of leadership that does not require that he take all the shots or score the most points in every game.
Simmons led a second half comeback in the Detroit game that erased a 15-point deficit, led by Jimmy Butler’s 32-points. Simmons and the rest of the team put the clamps on the Pistons’ scoring in the second half and had 76ers coach Brett Brown positively gushing after the game. “Just a fantastic team effort, team commitment, and the fact that there was a genuine inner belief that we could claw our way back into this and find a way to win,” said Brown.