Ben Simmons absolutely dominated against the Brooklyn Nets as the Sixers squeezed out a 117-11 victory at the Barclay’s Center Monday afternoon.
Simmons registered a triple-double, scoring 34 points to go along with 12 rebounds, 12 assists, 5 steals and 2 blocks. Perhaps more impressive than his totals is his shooting percentages. While Simmons didn’t shoot a triple, he was 12-14 from the floor (85.7% FG) and got to the charity stripe with some volume, hitting 10 of his 14 free throws.
Defensively, Ben was a nightmare for the Nets. His 5 steals came in a variety of ways, including stripping Jarrett Allen around the foul line as he searched for a teammate to pass to, swiping the ball from a driving Spencer Dinwiddie, and jumping an inbound pass to the backcourt. You could even make the case that Ben had a 6th steal on Nic Claxton, but it was ruled a block instead. His 2nd block came on Spencer Dinwiddie three-point attempt that was essentially the Nets final hope of forcing overtime.
But with a stat line like the one above, Simmons really stood out on the offensive end. His 34 points were a career-high and he obtained those points efficiently. His 12 for 14 from the field was less the result of a lucky night shooting and more a result of Simmons refusing to settle. Just take a look at his shot chart from the game:
Simmons scored with a plan and a purpose. Whether he was carefully manipulating opponents in midair off of dribble drives or embracing contact, Simmons was dead set on getting to the rim. He also racked up 14 free throws in addition to his 14 field goals.
Simmons’ flashiest assist of the game was an oop to Tobias Harris:
For as gaudy as Simmons numbers were, one of the more encouraging aspects of his performance cannot be captured by traditional statistics. Our Tom West was particular impressed with Simmons’ use as a roll man:
I've talked about this a lot this season, but the Sixers need to keep using Ben Simmons as a screener/roller. He's working really well in this role tonight. pic.twitter.com/RLvND26Bw1— Tom West (@TomWestNBA) January 20, 2020
Just going to share this piece I wrote a couple of weeks ago again.— Tom West (@TomWestNBA) January 20, 2020
Ben Simmons was really effective as a roll man today, and using him alongside another ball handler is key to unlocking what he has to offer https://t.co/24PYjGUKfQ
Appropriately enough, Simmons was announced as the Eastern Conference Player of the Week for Jan. 13th to Jan 19th. during today’s game. He’s really stepped up during Embiid’s absence, and it’s good to see him getting recognized. Last we saw, he was as low as 8th in Eastern Conference backcourt All-Star votes. By the NBA’s next publicly released tally, Ben deserves to have climbed the ranks.
For more on today’s Sixers game against the Brooklyn Nets, check out tonight’s Bell Ringer.