Earlier I wrote about Ben Simmons and why Kendall Jenner will not affect his game at all. I now know that he deserves more. He deserves an article dedicated to his game, not because he is dating a supermodel, but because he is a Superstar himself.
Ben Simmons is a once in a generation athlete. I don’t think many people would argue this. He is a 6’10” freak with one of the fastest top speeds in the league and the the strength to match up with people bigger than him. This is just the physical parts of the game. The worst part for the rest of the NBA is he is one of the most skilled players in the game also. If this isn’t enough I guess you can also add the fact that he is only 22 Years old and only getting better. Anybody that hates on Ben’s game just does not realise, he plays the game to make his team better/win, he does not care about his haters/stats/lack of shots/etc.
People will only talk about Ben and his shooting. They don’t mention that even though he is not good at shooting, and his coach wants him to take at least 4 shots per game, he still is shooting 58.1% from the field. That is the highest shooting percentage of all guards in the NBA. You could even throw small forwards and count them as shooting guards and that statement would still be true. He takes shots that he knows he will make. He does this because he is aware that other people may have better probability shots around him and he would rather pass it away than take a low percentage shot so that some teenage in Connecticut will stop tweeting at him.
Ben right now is averaging 16.6 PPG. This is only .8 more points per game than he scored last year. At first glance you would expect and want more of a jump from a 2nd year player at the age of 22, but the more in-depth you look, the more you can see it is no issue at all. Ben Simmons right now is ranked 22nd out of all point guards in FG per game. He is even behind a couple players who don’t even start. If you adjust Ben’s numbers to make it as if he attempted as many FG as the point guard who ranks 3rd in FG/Game (Kemba Walker) then you can see that Ben Simmons is a Super Star, but he would rather win than have the flashy stats. This experiment spits out 22.48 PPG. Obviously this is not a true science, but many of the variables and problems with this exercise balance out with points that would inflate and deflate the number. For example, Ben’s FG% would likey dip down (Not as low as Kemba’s, but a dip nonetheless), but you can balance that out with the fact this would be his average not including free throws, just from FG’s made. This, to me, is why Ben is so valuable. If you look at the rankings of FG//Game for PG’s you see it is star heavy at the top. Steph Curry, Kemba, Dame, Russ, Kyrie, etc are all in the top 10. If you look to see the names that Simmons is shooting as much as you will see names like Mudiay, Rubio, Barea, Lowry (Missed 10+ games), etc. Simmons with the amount of shots he takes shouldn’t even averaging more than 15 PPG, but due to his dominance in efficiency he sits at almost 17/game. Ben is also just catching fire right now, in his last 6 games he is averaging 20.66 Points per game and also has 2 triple-doubles, a 15 assist game, and a 22 rebound game. He is dominating and I expect his per-game numbers at the end of the season to be higher than they are right now.
Ben Simmons has been overlooked this year so far. He was being overshadowed by Joel “MVP” Embiid, then by the acquiring of Jimmy “Ice” Butler, and even when he put together a nice streak of basketball, he was overshadowed by Kendall Jenner and the most idiotic sports petition ever. So how has Ben been playing? Did he even get better in the off-season?
If you simply just look at the stats you would say he is pretty much the same player. Stats, however do not tell the real story of Ben’s season so far. There are multiple reasons behind this, but I could see it becoming a common theme in his career. For one, Joel Embiid has become an offensive juggernaut. This is a great thing for the Sixers as a whole, but it does not help Simmons much. Embiid is not someone who you can rack up assists to by hitting them on a cut or dishing out for a nice three. Most of the time you get the ball to Embiid he will post up, put his back to the basket, or stand in triple-threat position for multiple seconds effectively taking away the chance for an assist. Like I mentioned, this is great for our team but it is one of the reasons Ben’s assists numbers are not as high as they could be.
Ben can get buckets. This is a known thing in the NBA. Averaging 15+ a game is hard and if you even come close to it you are a good scorer. This really shows why Ben is so dominant. He is not a scorer. He is a pass first point guard who can play good defense and take rebounds away from 7-foot centers. The fact he even averages 15.5 ppg shows exactly why he is so dominant all-around at basketball. He also is averaging about the same number of points on 1 whole less shot per game. This will probably continue to rise throughout the season as he continues to get more comfortable and hopefully can continue his hot scoring streak. Ben at his peak will not be tops in the league at scoring, it just is not his game. I could see his best year in his career averaging about 22 points per game on a great efficiency.
So, let’s talk about the thing that Ben DEFINITELY improved on. Free throws. Yes, his last game was horrible in this department, but on the year Ben is shooting 60.6%. This is a huge jump from the 56% he shot last year. He is also averaging about 1 more free-throw per game. If ben could get this to about 63% by the end of the year I would be confident in his future at the line. People can improve at the line in the off-season and if anything, this shows us how seriously he takes his training.
Okay. I just have to touch upon the whole Kendall Jenner drama that was going on this week. If you signed the petition or supported it in any way, you need to log off the internet, go to the closest bar and get laid. The only reason anyone in the world would go as far as to try and stop a player that they are a fan of from dating one of the most beautiful women on this earth is jealousy or just the overall need to hate on anyone else being successful. Do not hide behind the “Kardashian curse” because we all know that is not a thing. I am not sure if anything this fanbase has ever done has gotten me more infuriated than this petition. It was just plain weird and embarrassing. That is all. Go Birds.
Elton Brand. We all knew that was going to be the candidate that the 76er’s would end up choosing, but none of us really wanted to believe it. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think this is a bad hire. I just think that Elton is the easiest, most safe pick that the 76er’s could choose. This is a low-risk, low-reward decision for Josh Harris and the boys. The worst part about this situation is “low-reward” is not going to beat the Warrior’s for many, many years to come. I don’t even think this “low-reward” tactic will be able to keep up with the Celtics for the upcoming years.
The Sixers just were not in the right situation for this hire. If we were a team that was already on top of many of the NBA Power Rankings then I would completely change my mind and agree with the hire, but the Sixers sadly are not. What we need out of a GM right now is someone who will make waves. Someone who is different enough to make the changes we need in order to win. The Sixers should have taken the path that the Phillies did. No, I am not saying they should rebuild or anything even close to it. We have one of the best young cores in the league. I am saying we should have brought someone like Matt Klentak or Gabe Kapler in to help forward their thinking and take this team from a very good team, to a Championship Contender. If you are not a Phillies fan right now (Who is?) and the names Klentak and Kapler make your skin curl then another great franchise that we could look at is the Rockets. Yes, they have the Reigning MVP, that helps, but they also have a great GM that at one point was a risky hire.
I know after reading this it seems like I hate Elton Brand and the choice that the Sixers made, but honestly I think he may do well and the Sixers may win a lot of games, he is just not the person that will put the Sixers in the position to win championships.