Simmons Named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month

PHILADELPHIA – MAR. 1, 2018 — Philadelphia 76ers guard-forward Ben Simmons was named Kia NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for games played in February, the NBA announced today.

 

In 11 February games, Simmons posted averages of 16.0 points, 7.3 rebounds and 7.7 assists per contest, as he helped lead the 76ers to an 8-3 month as the team moved into the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference. He was the only rookie to average at least 16 points, seven rebounds and seven assists per game in February, and one of just four players to do so leaguewide; joining Cleveland’s LeBron James, Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook and Denver’s Nikola Jokić.

 

The 21-year-old leads all rookies in rebounds, assists, steals and minutes per game. He is second in points per game and field-goal percentage. Simmons and James are the only players in the NBA averaging at least seven assists per game while shooting 50 percent-or-better from the field.

 

Simmons has totaled 963 points, 445 rebounds and 428 assists thus far in 2017-18. He’s just the 17th player to amass such totals through his first 58 games of a season since 1963-64 and is the only rookie to do so. The Louisiana State product, James and Westbrook are the only players in the NBA this season with at least 900 points, 400 rebounds and 400 assists.

 

The Australia native ranks within the top 10 in the NBA, among qualifying players, in assists (sixth) and steals (ninth) per game, while his 23 double-doubles lead all rookies. Just 15 NBA players have more double-doubles than Simmons.

 

Simmons posted double figures in points in all 11 of his February games while eclipsing the 20-point plateau on two occasions. He was one of four NBA rookies to put up multiple 20-point games in February, and the only one in the Eastern Conference.

 

On Feb. 22 against Chicago, Simmons posted 32 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds in 34 minutes of action in a 116-115 victory over the Bulls. Simmons, Stephen Curry, Steve Francis and Michael Jordan are the only rookies ever to post those statistics in a single game, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

 

On Feb. 14 against Miami, Simmons recorded 18 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists as the 76ers overcame a 24-point third-quarter deficit to defeat the Heat in the team’s largest comeback victory since Nov. 14, 2008, against Indiana when they trailed by 26.

 

The triple-double was the sixth of Simmons’ career and came in his 54th NBA game. His six triple-doubles are the most by a rookie since Magic Johnson recorded seven in 1979-80 and the most by a 76er since Wilt Chamberlain posted 31 in 1967-68. He is tied for third in the league in triple-doubles this season behind only Westbrook and James.

 

Simmons opened February with a 20-point, six-rebound, five-assist performance in the 76ers’ Feb. 2 win over the Heat. Simmons’ 10 games in February with at least 10 points, five rebounds and five assists are tied for the most in the NBA with James.

 

On Feb. 24, Simmons totaled 17 points, four rebounds and seven assists in a win over Orlando, giving the 76ers their seventh straight win at the time. It was Philadelphia’s first seven-game winning streak since Jan. 6-17, 2009.

 

Originally selected by Philadelphia with the first overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, Simmons spent one season at LSU prior to joining the 76ers. 

 

Simmons, who earned Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month honors for games played in October/November and January, Joel Embiid and Michael Carter Williams (2013-14) are the only 76ers to win the award at least three times.The award has been presented monthly since 1981-82.