Simmons continues hot NBA start for 76ers


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    Australia’s Ben Simmons says an historic start to his NBA career means little without the Philadelphia 76ers tasting victory.

    The athletically gifted, 208cm Simmons became just the second player in the league’s history to record more than 10 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in his first three games on basketball’s biggest stage.

    But with the 76ers suffering a 128-94 defeat at the hands of Eastern Conference heavyweights Toronto Raptors, the 21-year-old Melbourne native was less than impressed with his third straight double-double.

    “I hold myself to a high standard, so I expect to come out and do that,” Simmons told AAP.

    After bagging a coveted double-double in his first two games, Simmons recorded 18 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in Toronto.

    But after the east’s cellar-dwellers suffered their third loss on the trot, Simmons says he was not yet living the dream.

    “Close to it. But honestly, I’d rather have three wins and (only) two (individual) points,” he said.

    However, 76ers coach Brett Brown was glowing in his endorsement of Simmons.

    The former Australian national team mentor believes Simmons’ star continues to rise in the face of heavy pressure from his selection as No.1 in the 2016 NBA draft.

    “I feel what the numbers say. He has the ability to be incredibly special,” Brown said.

    “The stuff he does on the (court) is very unique, with his size, his burst of speed and his ability to get to the rim and take hits.

    “He’s got tremendous, tremendous potential. As both a leader and as an elite, versatile NBA player.

    Simmons, who was forced to sit out the 2016 season due to injury, could not hide his achilles heel – only four successful free throws from eight attempts.

    But former Sydney Kings coach Brown is confident Simmons will improve.

    “We’re going overboard trying to develop his free-throw and his finishing; those are the two things that matter to me most this year,” he said.

    “Three-point shot will not define him this year. Probably won’t for three years.”

    The 76ers have been the worst team in the NBA during the past four years with a dismal 75-253 record.

    Elsewhere, Adelaide export Joe Ingles led the Utah Jazz to a 96-87 victory over Oklahoma City Thunder with his 19-point contribution.

    Also victorious were the Australian teammates Thon Maker (three points) and Matthew Dellavedova (two points), who enjoyed a 113-110 win the Milwaukee Bucks over the Portland Trail Blazers.

    Patty Mills scored just just two points for his San Antonio Spurs in their 87-77 win over the Chicago Bulls.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (8)

    • October 23rd 2017 @ 8:06am
      Jerry said | October 23rd 2017 @ 8:06am | ! Report

      Simmons is looking like the ROTY contender everyone thought he’d be. Hell, if the All Start selection hadn’t been changed, I’d imagine he could have even been a chance for a spot on the weak East team. If his outside shot improves, he’d be All Star quality for sure.

      • October 23rd 2017 @ 8:08am
        Swampy said | October 23rd 2017 @ 8:08am | ! Report

        Why can’t he get an all-star spot?

        • October 23rd 2017 @ 10:19am
          Jerry said | October 23rd 2017 @ 10:19am | ! Report

          My point was that if the new All Star selection wasn’t based on Conferences, it would make him less likely to get a spot – not that he couldn’t get one.

          In saying that, I’ve googled the new rules and qualification is still based on 12 players from eash conference, it’s just that the team make up is chosen by the captains.

          So basically, ignore that bit – it was based on a misapprehension. I do think he needs to add an outside shot to qualify though.

    • October 23rd 2017 @ 10:38am
      Swampy said | October 23rd 2017 @ 10:38am | ! Report

      Yes – was wondering if you misunderstood the no conferences bit. At this rate he’s a shoe in for a coaches spot.

      Likely starters:

      LeBron, Wall, Embiid, Irving, Giannis (embiid’s social media profile is so huge he’ll get popular vote)


      Kemba, Porzingas, Horford, Lowry, DeRozan, then who?

      D’angelo, Schroeder, Beal, Dragic, Simmons, Oladipo, Dragic?? Harris???

      He’s every chance.

      • October 23rd 2017 @ 2:06pm
        Jerry said | October 23rd 2017 @ 2:06pm | ! Report

        I’d imagine – assuming all are fit, Wall, Thomas*, Irving, DeRozan & Lowry are all likely back court selections for the East so there’s really only one spot available for him. He could get it, I guess.

        But there’s also Avery Bradley and Kemba Walker plus a couple of future HOF players in Wade & Rose who are playing for a contender, have name recognition and for whom selection would be a feel good story of a legend’s (perhaps it’s a bit much to call Rose a legend, but a former MVP none the less) revival.

        *he might not play enough before the All Star break, of course.

        • October 23rd 2017 @ 3:13pm
          Swampy said | October 23rd 2017 @ 3:13pm | ! Report

          I very much doubt Rose or wade would get a look in. IT is out til jan minimum. Embiid may not play enough or more likely the rest Dr would get him anyway. Avery Bradley is not an all-star. Not even close.

          Under those scenarios potentially an all-star – however if Philly only have 10 wins by Feb it would be a tough selection. The East is just so devoid of talent. Even the best rookies are in the West (other than Simmons).

          • October 23rd 2017 @ 4:05pm
            Jerry said | October 23rd 2017 @ 4:05pm | ! Report

            Ahhh, brain fart! Meant Bradley Beal, not Avery Bradley. My bad.

            Fair point on Thomas, he won’t be back in time, I guess.

            Isn’t it divided into front court/back court? Didn’t think Embiid would be relevant.

            As for Wade & Rose – I’ll admit Rose is a big outside shot, but Wade only missed out last year by a hair. He was right up there in media and fan votes and now he’s starting for a contender and has LeBron spacing the floor for him.

    • October 24th 2017 @ 12:11pm
      Jerry said | October 24th 2017 @ 12:11pm | ! Report

      Simmons on the verge of a triple double as the 76ers are looking good for their first win!

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