Ben Simmons shouldn’t be a dangerous NBA start line guard by advantage of the truth that he is a good passer and defender, however as we consider the place he’s at in his second season would he crack the highest 10 at his place? If that’s the case, it’s by a thread.
As three-point capturing continues to proliferate within the league, Simmons has actually not tried a single shot from past the arc this season. The Sixers are typically gifted sufficient to win about two-thirds of their video games simply by advantage of getting what Simmons does present along with two stars in Joel Embiid and Jimmy Butler. Nonetheless, my competition is that there are about 10 level guards within the NBA who’re higher than Simmons in a playoff collection, and that Simmons’ capturing legal responsibility late in video games goes to submarine them within the postseason as they fall wanting the Japanese Convention Finals. (If the season ended at the moment, they’d play the Celtics and fail to even make the second spherical.)
Clearly wage issues and Simmons is all issues thought of a strong worth making $6.four million on his rookie deal. Nonetheless, these level guards are higher in a vacuum proper now:
Stephen Curry, James Harden, Damian Lillard, Kemba Walker, Kyrie Irving, Russell Westbrook. Maybe you’re not enamored with Westbrook, but when Westbrook and Simmons change locations do you actually assume the Thunder are 21-12 and third within the West proper now? Or that the Sixers’ win complete decreases? The opposite argument right here might be that Harden shouldn’t be some extent guard, as he shares a backcourt with Chris Paul. However, given how a lot the ball is in his arms — and that that is my train — I’m counting him.
You might argue however I’d assume you’re unsuitable
Mike Conley and De’Aaron Fox. Now we’re as much as eight. Conley is averaging 20 factors per sport on a Grizzlies when Memphis has about seven much less possessions per sport than Philadelphia (the Grizzlies have the least possessions per sport whereas the Sixers have the fourth-most).
If final yr’s Draft had been redone at the moment, do you assume the Sixers would take Simmons over Fox? I truthfully don’t, particularly on condition that the rumblings that Simmons goes to move to Tinseltown the primary likelihood he will get are already simmering. Fox might not be a excessive quantity Three-point shooter, however he’s flattening over 40% of them on Three.1 makes an attempt per sport this season.
You’ll assume I’m unsuitable however I can stay with that
So now we’ve reached some extent the place I consider pretty strongly that Simmons shouldn’t be a prime 25% starter at his place within the NBA. Additional, there are even a pair different level guards like Eric Bledsoe and D’Angelo Russell who you’d in all probability say I’m loopy to choose over Simmons in a hotly contested playoff collection, however I’d nonetheless select — keep in mind how Simmons vanished right into a weird state of passivity in Sport 2 in opposition to the Celtics final yr because the Sixers blew a 22-point lead?
It bears repeating that Simmons is an outstanding defender and passer. It’s too early to write down him off for all times as not-elite in his second season. If, like, Brook Lopez might develop a three-point shot practically a decade into his NBA profession, it’s definitely conceivable that Simmons might grind out a capability to shoot from the perimeter. Nonetheless, till he does so, he’s not going to be an asset within the playoffs given what the game has turn into.