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Philadelphia 76ers fans got their first real glimpse of second-year forward Ben Simmons on Wednesday and the versatile Simmons stuffed the stat sheet in his NBA preseason debut, showcasing his high basketball IQ and natural physical gifts against the Memphis Grizzlies.
If you’re expecting Simmons to be a scorer right off the bat, don’t. The 6-foot-10 point-forward still needs to work on manufacturing points outside the paint and developing a consistent perimeter shot, as many young players do.
What is evident, though, is that Simmons is going to have an impact on the game at all times even if he’s not scoring.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 draft posted six points (2-of-8 shooting), seven rebounds and nine assists in 22 minutes during Philly’s 110-89 loss to Memphis.
Simmons showed off his superb court vision on a bevy of plays and he’s going to be a matchup nightmare for opposing point guards when he decides to be aggressive and play in the post.
One thing is certain: No team is going to want to see Simmons running in the open court with Joel Embiid and Markelle Fultz as the trailers.
Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale was highly impressed with what he saw out of Simmons and says the league better be ready for the “big-time” talent that Simmons is.
“Oh my god, I don’t want to see that guy for the next 15 years,” Fizdale told the Inquirer. “That kid, they’re not talking about him enough. The way he moves with the ball, his ability to see the floor, the way he can get to places on the floor. Once he gets confidence in his shot where you really got to close out on him to the three, wow, he’s a big-time talent.”