Aussies in Summer League: Ben Simmons vs the Lake Show
The NBA Las Vegas Summer League continues, and so does the Ben Simmons introduction to the NBA world.
The Philadelphia 76ers took on the Los Angeles Lakers, and we got to see Simmons face off against Brandon Ingram in a battle of the top two picks of the 2016 NBA Draft. Stat-wise, it was a win for the Aussie, who stuffed the stat sheet with 8 points, 10 boards, 8 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks. Ingram only managed 7 points, 4 rebounds, and 1 assist. The Lakers prevailed in the end though.
There were a couple of black marks on Simmons' performance. He finished just 3-of-8 from the field, even missing an open layup once, and didn't quite put to rest concerns over his free-throw shooting, converting on 2-of-4 from the line. Additionally, he committed 7 turnovers; not exactly what you want to see from your point-forward of the future.
But oh man, the positives were spotlight-bright.
Among Simmons' eight assists (and he could have had more, but for some poor finishing/shooting from his teammates) were some beautiful instances of playmaking. It's not just the passing; it really was a full playmaking suite, including some powerful drives and in-and-out dribbling trickery to set up the dime.
There's still a lot of room for improvement, and Simmons himself acknowledged this in a post-game interview.
"I think I did a little bit better. Obviously, I've got to do much better than tonight. But we've got a few more games to go. So I'm looking forward to learning from my mistakes," he said.
"I think just learning how to handle different situations," he added. "Obviously [the fourth quarter] was going back and forth, I think we should have slowed it down a little bit. That is what we are here for, to learn."
Of course, at the end of the day D'Angelo Russell stole the show with his long-range game winner, but this was still a good showing from Ben Simmons.
Next up for Simmons and the 76ers: a date with the Chicago Bulls.