Simmons sparkles in NBA debut
|Steve Chalmers||Oct 19, 2017|
We may have waited 482 days since Ben Simmons was announced as the NBA's number one draft pick in the 2016 draft before he took to the court in a regular season game, however it was all worth the wait as Simmons dazzled on debut despite Philadelphia going down to Washington 115-120.
The 21-year old who missed the entire 2016/17 NBA season due to a broken foot, looked like he belonged from the opening tip.
He is just the second Australian player to start on debut after Andrew Bogut, who started at centre for the Milwaukee Bucks in 2006.
A final stat line of 18 points, 10 rebounds and five assists meant that the hype is real, as Simmons and his Sixers continue their 'process' to becoming a championship calibre outfit.
Simmons post game explained it felt like he was playing in a video game.
"(It) felt like I was playing 2K, honestly," Simmons told Washington media.
After being named technically as the starting Small Forward, Simmons spent most of the first half as the Point Guard proving his versatility and exceptional talent to play multiple positions.
His length and decision making allowed him to find all of his shots at or around the rim, despite many pundits claiming he would be forced to shoot from the outside (with concerns surrounding his jump shot).
Sixers coach Brett Brown couldn't have been more pleased about the performance.
"I feel that his first game was really exceptional. Really, really exceptional.
"Physically, we all see what he is as an athlete, and I think that his growth path, his improvement scale, I think it can be off the charts."
Simmons was also buoyant about what's to come for the season ahead.
"Still gotta work on a lot of things, but as a team we're getting there. It's exciting to see that. Didn't get the win, obviously, but I just know this team can be special and I'm looking forward to seeing how far we can get."
Simmons and the Sixers get their next chance to register their first win of the season on Saturday (Aus time) when they face the Boston Celtics.