Making the Case | Ben Simmons

by Lauren Rosen

The Case

On Feb. 15 in Utah, Ben Simmons continued to make his case for a third straight All-Star bid, doing so emphatically by scoring a career-high 42 points. He finished just one rebound shy of a 40-point triple-double, his line also featuring nine rebounds, and 12 assists.

He shot 15-for-26 from the field, and 12-for-13 from the foul line.

At just 24 years old, Simmons is already a two-time All-Star. In his fourth NBA season, he’s shown no signs of slowing down.

As one of the league’s best two-way forces, Simmons is averaging 15.2 points, 8.3 rebounds, 8.0 assists, and 1.7 steals per game, shooting 56.2% from the field.

Remaining one of the most active defenders in the NBA, Simmons leads the league in deflections per game (4.1), and is second in the league in total deflections (98). His 1.7 steals per game marks the fourth-highest average in the NBA.

Over his last 10 performances, Simmons has shot 60.5% from the field and averaged 19.7 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 8.3 assists per game.

Simmons has recorded 11 double-doubles and three triple-doubles in his first 25 appearances this season. His three triple-doubles mark the sixth-most in the NBA.

The Performances

Feb. 15 vs. Utah Jazz

Simmons exploded for a career-high 42 points, nine rebounds, 12 assists, a steal, and a block in the team’s hard-fought Joel Embiid-less loss in Utah. Simmons scored 19 points on perfect 7-for-7 shooting in the first quarter alone.

Jan. 27 vs. Los Angeles Lakers

Simmons scored a 17-point, 11-rebound, 10-assist triple double in the Sixers’ win over the then-West leading Lakers, adding a steal and a block, and shooting 53.3% from the floor.

Jan. 31 @ Indiana Pacers

Simmons stuffed the stat sheet against the Pacers, finishing with 21 points, six rebounds, seven assists, four steals, and two blocks in the Sixers’ win - largely thanks to Simmons defensive performance in the team’s switch to zone in the fourth period. He shot 9-for-12 from the field in the outing.

The Words

Tobias Harris praised Simmons following his career-high outing in Utah:

“From the start of the game, he was just on a mission out there. You just saw another element of his game, I think, being at the five, being a roller, how fast he was rolling to the basket. That opened up the floor for everybody out there tonight. It was pretty amazing.” 

Doc Rivers echoed Harris in Utah:

“Forty-two, 12, and nine. He did everything. He guarded, did a good job, played with pace.” 

Joel Embiid - who has consistently advocated for Simmons’ All-Star bid - offered his teammate props on Feb. 2:

“I love playing with Ben. It starts on the defensive end, he [is] a monster… I don’t even know how to explain it - it’s just been fun. He’s been amazing this year.”

Doris Burke offered her take on Simmons during the Sixers’ series with Celtics:

"One thing you cannot overstate is Ben’s influence on the game in incredibly impactful ways. I’d start on the defensive end of the floor. I know last year…the number of All-Stars that Ben guarded over the course of the season was truly a remarkable thing. You can put him interchangeably 1-4. In this day and age, you’ve got to have pieces like that."

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