Most experts would have said Ben Simmons was NBA-ready this season, although it’s unsure how many would have thought he was going to be this good this quick.
The 21-year-old began his professional career with 18 points, 10 rebounds and five assists against Washington in Philadelphia’s season opener, and there were enough positive signs in that match alone to suggest Simmons was here to stay.
From that day, his production and output for the Sixers has only improved, even to the point where Simmons was doing things that had never been achieved in NBA history before.
In his first five NBA games, the former LSU-product combined for 169 points, rebounds and assists, which is something no NBA player has ever done before.
Even the great Michael Jordan couldn’t achieve that feat, as he could only combine for 167.
In just his fourth game, Simmons recorded his first career triple-double with 21 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in his side’s away win at Detroit.
His performance in that game sparked a conversation about just how far Simmons can go this season, with a lot of experts and analysts already suggesting the race for the Rookie of the Year Award is over.
The ‘point forward’ kept up his stats for another two games to break another record, as he became the first player in 25 years to average at least 18 points, nine rebounds and seven assists through the first seven games of a season.
After achieving another double-double in his eighth game, Simmons also became just the third player in the past 25 years to record five or more double-doubles in his first eight games.
Not only is Simmons now spoken about as the best rookie, but some have even muttered his name in conversations about some of the league’s top players.
Given his averages of 18.4 points, 9.1 rebounds and 7.7 assists through the month of October, Simmons is expected to keep up this pace for a while according to online bookmaker CrownBet, enlisting Simmons as one of the favourites for the Eastern Conference Player of the Month for December.
It'll be interesting to see if Simmons can sustain this level of play for the entire season, but given the way he’s started, is there any reason why he couldn’t?