By Justin Batiste
After a season ending injury in 2016 what can we expect from 76ers No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons this season?
This season we will finally get to see the highly anticipated Ben Simmons play. The last time we saw the 76ers small forward play was in 2016 in the NBA summer league where he averaged 10.8 ppg, 7.7 rpg, and 5.5 apg. Unfortunately, Simmons’ NBA season came to an end after he fractured his right foot in training camp.
Coming out of college Simmons was said to be the next LeBron James off of raw talent alone. At LSU Simmons was a stat stuffer averaging 19.2 ppg, 11.8 rpg and 4.8 apg; my only concern about Simmons coming out of college was his motor and will to win.
The NBA is full of talented players but when I listen to great players like Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and LeBron speak about being great, they always mention their mentality and will to be a winner. If Simmons can develop that type of mentality as a pro he’ll be a serious force to reckon with.
The 76ers have a young talented core with Joel Embiid, Jahlil Okafor, and now Markell Fultz. According to the organization, 6-foot-10 Simmons grew two more inches making him a 7-footer, which will make Simmons’ job easier and help the Sixer’s development.
Simmons can score the ball but his strong points are rebounding and passing. With Embiid, Okafor and Fultz on the floor, they’ll allow Simmons to play to his strengths.
Simmons has had an entire season and offseason to get healthy and work on his jump shot (which has always been questionable) so I’m expecting him to now have a mid-range game, and, hopefully, a respectable three-point shot.
Some are predicting Simmons to win rookie of the year because he’s eligible for the award after missing all of last season. Although I don’t see Simmons winning ROY, I do see him starting and being an elite facilitator and even running the offense at times.
This year will be more of a feel-out season for Simmons, in my opinion–a season for Simmons to adjust to the NBA.
We’ll see some highlight dunks and flashy passes from the small forward but as far as taking over the league like LeBron did in his first year, I don’t think so.
It will be interesting to see how Brett Brown uses Simmons, the 2016 No. 1 overall pick, in his offense.
Subscribe here http://treysandlays.com/