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Ben Simmons Shines in Sixers’ Scrimmage

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NBA: Philadelphia 76ers-Media Day Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

At media day last week, Ben Simmons was asked how he felt about his peers “forgetting” about him when they voted him 4th most likely to win this year’s Rookie of the Year award. He smiled and responded, simply, “They’ll remember.”

If Sixers’ fans, like incoming rookies, had forgotten about the promise and talent Simmons brings to this squad, his display in yesterday’s Blue v. White scrimmage swiftly reminded them. Simmons was dominant, looking unstoppable in transition and nearly winning the game by himself at the end. He finished the game with 23 points on 15 field goal attempts and added 5 assists to boot.

With a full head of steam in the full court, Simmons’ combination of speed and power are breathtaking.

He even finished twice with his left hand, after all the hullabaloo about his reliance on his right around the rim.

Without having the luxury of watching Simmons on the court, there has been a tendency to focus on his weaknesses, namely shooting, while minimizing his considerable physical and mental gifts. With his performance yesterday, Simmons reminded us all why he was the first overall pick and one of the most hyped high school players of his generation.

Auxiliary Thoughts on Other Players:

  • The team looked a bit rusty, as you could tell they were still in pre-season form. Redick missed badly on some shots early, while the game-fit Korkmaz and Dario popped in an obvious way in comparison to their teammates.
  • Korkmaz had a very encouraging game, buzzing around the court on both ends and supplying a 7-8 shooting night, including 4 from 5 from beyond the arc.
  • Amir Johnson looked spry and active, hinting at the ways in which he has been able to consistently improve good teams when he has played, despite now possessing a max vertical of -2.5”.
  • Vegan Jahlil Okafor is in better shape than Omnivore Jahlil Okafor! The jumper still looked very shaky, but it is encouraging to see Jah start the season in better shape than he has the previous two years.
  • Justin Anderson his a game-tying 3 to send the game to OT, but the shot still looks problematic. Here’s hoping for real improvement this year!
  • There has been a lot of focus on Fultz’s jump shot since the bizarre video footage surfaced of his repositioned free throw release. His jump shot did look a little wonkier than during his time at Washington, but he looked fine beyond that. Brett Brown commented on its status after the game:

Two days until Sixers’ basketball for real.