Ben Simmons set to start as 76ers’ point guard

By Warren Barnsley, Warren Barnsley is a Roar Guru

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    Ben Simmons has praised his NBA team Philadelphia for securing Markelle Fultz but is expecting to play point guard ahead of his fellow No.1 draft pick.

    The top draftees from the past two seasons are set to make their NBA debuts this season after Australian Simmons spent 2016-17 on the sidelines with a foot injury.

    Simmons, 20, did not reveal his return date on Sunday as an observer of the 76ers’ Summer League game against San Antonio.

    But he indicated his rehabilitation continues to track positively.

    “I’m good. I’ve been getting up and down, five-on-five,” Simmons told ESPN.

    “Things like that. Just trying to get back to how I was playing. I’ve been doing well.

    “It’s frustrating but I know I got a long season ahead of me. I’m looking forward to getting in the gym and getting better until I start playing.”

    The 76ers traded with Boston for their second-straight No.1 draft pick, taking the former University of Washington guard Fultz.

    Fultz had impressed in the Summer League before hurting his ankle on the weekend against Golden State.

    He will join Simmons on the pine for the remainder of the pre-season before the pair vie for a starting-five spot during the regular season.

    “It was a good (trade) decision, obviously,” Simmons said.

    “Markelle’s been playing well. He’s a great young kid, great person. That’s one of the things the team looks at. He’s a great player.

    “Coach (Brett Brown) wants to start me at the point. But once we get into the flow of things, whoever gets the rebound, we’re just going. I think we’ll be a quick-paced team.

    “We have a great, young team and guys who are willing to put in the work. I think the sky’s the limit. Our goal is to win.”

    The Spurs won Sunday’s match 101-95 in Las Vegas, with Australian draftee Jonah Bolden scoring seven points for the 76ers with four rebounds from 18 minutes off the bench.

    Elsewhere, Adelaide NBL stars Mitch Creek and Nathan Sobey lined up for Utah against the LA Clippers as they play for NBA contracts during the Summer League.

    Both players had limited game time, with Sobey recording six points and Creek scoreless.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (9)

    • July 10th 2017 @ 4:05pm
      astro said | July 10th 2017 @ 4:05pm | ! Report

      Not that it matters much in today’s NBA, but I doubt very much that Simmons will technically start as the PG. He could well be the primary ball handler and play maker, but on defense, he’ll line up against the opponents SF for sure. He’s a point forward.

      Fultz at PG, JJ at SG, Simmons at SF, Dario and PF and Embiid at center seems the most logical line up…

      • July 11th 2017 @ 8:19am
        mushi said | July 11th 2017 @ 8:19am | ! Report

        Was listening to some talk about the Celtics running double P&R sets with Thomas penetrating and resetting with a pass to heyward for a second P&R against a bent D. I’d love to see Simmons and Fultz running that.

        On line up I’d rather him at “PF”, Saric isn’t a good enough three point shooter (yet?) to make a front court of Simmons, Embiid and Him work on offence.

        You need Covington’s shooting out there to make it work until Saric proves he is reliable from deep.

        • July 11th 2017 @ 12:10pm
          astro said | July 11th 2017 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

          Yeah, shooting could be an issue for the Sixers…You’re right about needing Covington out there to stretch the floor.

          I seriously hope Simmons has worked on his shot in the off season. If he really can’t shoot, it’ll hurt his effectiveness in the P&R…but the idea of Fultz, Simmons and Embiid all together and all fit and healthy is really exciting. Let’s just hope it actually happens!

          • July 13th 2017 @ 4:23pm
            Arky said | July 13th 2017 @ 4:23pm | ! Report

            Here’s hoping. As a long time Miami fan due to Wade, last season I was torn between Chicago (just couldn’t bring myself to do it), Miami without Wade (ended up staying with them) and just making the leap to follow Simmons… only for Simmons to get injured and take that choice away. This season I am again tempted to follow Simmons. It’s not glory hunting when you’re jumping to f’n Philly….

            • Roar Guru

              July 14th 2017 @ 8:49am
              Chris Kettlewell said | July 14th 2017 @ 8:49am | ! Report

              NBA is a funny one. With other sports, when I’ve started following I’ve picked a team using whatever method at the time and stuck with that. But the NBA is different. I have always tended to follow favourite players more than teams, hence, while I first started watching during the Jordan era and loved his play and therefore followed the Bulls, it was always about MJ, not the Bulls, so once he went, I really felt no connection to the Bulls, and since then have tended to gravitate more to liking the teams based on them having a “favourite player” in there. As such, with no previous liking for the 76ers at all, I may also follow them a bit as one of my favourite teams for a while if Simmons can get on the floor and do some good stuff!

    • July 10th 2017 @ 5:37pm
      Mike Dugg said | July 10th 2017 @ 5:37pm | ! Report

      Yeah I’m with Astro on this.

      Fultz -, McConell – Bayless
      Redick – Stauskas
      Simmons – Covington
      Dario – Holmes – Johnson
      Embiid – Okafor – Johnson

      Pretty deep team there. If they can get some chemistry going and gel, the skies the limit.

    • July 11th 2017 @ 6:22pm
      Larry Seely said | July 11th 2017 @ 6:22pm | ! Report

      Simmons won’t be the starting point guard, but could play a role much like LeBron, more of a point forward. Fultz is terrific with the ball in his hands, but will need to improve his shooting, making Simmons a logical choice to play either the two or three position on the floor.

    • July 13th 2017 @ 4:21pm
      Arky said | July 13th 2017 @ 4:21pm | ! Report

      While I would have thought they mean Simmons will play a LeBron point-forward kind of role, who knows, maybe Brown really does intend to have Simmons play point guard and go for the defensive mismatch. He has so many talented bigs to shuffle around, it will be a lot easier to get them all minutes if Simmons is taking guard minutes.

      • Roar Guru

        July 14th 2017 @ 8:51am
        Chris Kettlewell said | July 14th 2017 @ 8:51am | ! Report

        That would make sense if they didn’t just take the #1 draft pick to select a point guard though. Unless they really feel that he’s best starting his NBA career off the bench. But then, it’s not like Simmons has a season of NBA under his belt to put him ahead of Fultz in that way either. So if Simmons is straight into the starting lineup, no reason why Fultz wouldn’t be.

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