Making the Case: Ben Simmons

by Lauren Rosen

Performance

At just 23 years old, Ben Simmons has accomplished quite a bit.

From 2018 Rookie of the Year to 2019 All-Star, Simmons’ star has continued to rise in his third season of NBA competition.

A commanding presence on both ends of the court, Simmons is averaging 15.2 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. He’s also averaging career-highs in assists (8.4 apg) and steals (2.2 spg).

The Melbourne, Australia native has scored in double-digits in 34 of his 39 appearances this season. He’s pocketed at least one steal in 33 contests. 

Simmons notched his 21st double-double of the season Monday in Indianapolis, a total that ranks eleventh in the league. .

In that meeting with the Pacers, Simmons recorded 20 points in the first half alone.

He’s also recorded three triple-doubles this season (fifth-most in the league), already counting 25 triple-doubles in his young career. 

In one of his most eye-catching performances of the season, Simmons shared a career-high 17 assists, along with 16 points and 13 rebounds on Dec. 13 in Detroit.

His career-high scoring performance came just a few days prior, as Simmons counted 34 points, three rebounds, seven assists, two blocks, and a steal on Dec. 7 against Cleveland.

Among the Elite

Simmons’ 2.2 steals per game mark the highest average in the league. His 83 total steals are also a league-high.

Perspective

Simmons’ late-game defense sealed the team’s win in its first meeting with the Pacers this season. Following that outing, Brett Brown applauded Simmons’ unique skillset:

“The plays he can make from an athletic standpoint, and the plays he can make from a physical standpoint [late] in the game are just elite. You hear me cheer-lead the cause of him being on an NBA All-Defensive Team, and it’s examples like [these] that make it a no-brainer.”

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