Ben Simmons – All Star 2020 – From Melbourne to Chicago.

From Box Hill Secondary College to the NBA. Born in Fitzroy, now playing for the Philadelphia 76’s. He could have been a sharp on-baller for the bombers in the AFL after playing A-Grade for Whitefriars College as a youth, but instead he chose Basketball. Now from humble beginnings at the Knox Raiders he’s lining up with LeBron’s All Stars in Chicago this coming weekend.

Here’s the lowdown on his career development and progress this year…

By The Numbers: Ben Simmons

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Ben Simmons is set to compete in his second All-Star Game in Chicago as he’ll take the floor as part of Team LeBron.

In his first All-Star appearance last season, the Aussie finished with 10 points, seven assists and six rebounds on a perfect 5-for-5 shooting in just under 17 minutes of action.

Despite the relative turmoil in Philadelphia for a 76ers team that has thus far underachieved, it’s impossible to deny that Simmons has once again performed at an All-Star level and is deserving of the All-Star honour.

Let’s go by the numbers to help articulate just how good Simmons has been so far this season.

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216 – Deflections

The biggest leap that Simmons has made this season has come on the defensive end, where he’s emerged as a legitimate Defensive Player of the Year candidate.

Not only does he lead the league in steals, he’s also first in deflections, which further illustrates his ability to disrupt anything and everything. The fact that at 6’10” he has the ability to cause so much chaos shouldn’t go understated.

Only three other players in NBA history 6’10” or taller have ever averaged over two steals per game. Simmons could become the first player that tall to lead the entire league in steals.

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His development into a versatile stopper capable of legitimately guarding all five positions could further elevate the ceiling for a player still just scratching the surface of his potential.

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Toronto Raptors center Serge Ibaka (9) charges Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) during the second half of an NBA Eastern Conference semifinal basketball game in Toronto on Sunday, May 12, 2019. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)

+7.0 – Scoring increase

In Philadelphia’s first game after the calendar flipped to 2020, Simmons poured in 29 points on what at the time was a season-high 20 shots. Although the 76ers lost that game to the Houston Rockets, it proved to be a turning point of sorts for Simmons, who has looked like a completely different player since.

Over his first 34 games, Simmons averaged just 14.5 points per game, which was over two fewer than last season when he earned his first trip to the All-Star Game. Over that span, he had just one 25-point game, which ranked fifth on the team and was fewer than the likes of Nemanja Bjelica, Ish Smith, Jordan McRae and Garrett Temple to name a few.

Scoring isn’t everything, particularly in the case of Simmons, but that’s not great.

Then came that game against Houston which ignited a torrid stretch. In 19 games since, he’s averaging 21.5 points per game, an increase of 7.0 PPG from before the calendar flipped to 2020. While 10 of those games came without Joel Embiid in the lineup, he also has three 25-point games over that span alongside his fellow All-Star teammate.

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He’s actively playing a larger role in the offense, shooting more often and getting to the line more frequently.

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60 – Secondary assists

He’s long been one of the best passers in the league and this year is no exception.

While Simmons ranks fifth in the NBA in assists per game, he actually ranks third in potential assists per game as the 76ers take over 16 shots per game directly off his passes, a figure which trails only LeBron James and Trae Young.

One of the beautiful aspects of Ben’s passing is that he sees the pass before the pass like few others.

The secondary assist – or hockey assist – is a pass that leads to a pass which leads to a made shot. They don’t show up in the box score, but they’re indicative of a player knowing how to move the ball quickly and find teammates in positions where they can then exploit the D.

So far this season, he has 60 of them, which leads the entire league and is nearly twice as many as anyone else on the 76ers.

The unselfish playmaking is a major reason why Simmons should be a desirable teammate this upcoming weekend in Chicago as he’s a threat to wrack up the dimes.

Source: sportingnews.com

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Aussie Rookie of the Year Takes NBA by Storm.

Ben Simmons is on fire this year in the NBA. As reigning Rookie of the Year he’s averaging 16.5 points, 9.1 rebounds and 8.1 assists per game. An Australian, Ben is the third non-American to win the award.

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Simmons hopes Australian fans can help him get over the line.

The Melbourne-born superstar said he is proud to represent Australia on the international stage every time he plays.

“Support from Australia means everything because just being Australian, every time I put on a jersey, I know I’m not only representing my family, but Australia at the same time,” Simmons told news.com.au.

“I also want to be the first Australian to be in the All-Star game, I think that would just be huge for Australian basketball. Not only for me but for little kids looking up to me. I think that would just be an amazing accomplishment.”

Simmons has been ramping up his performances over the past month.

In his last 10 games, he averages 18.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 8.8 assists.

But having just moved over the halfway mark of the season, Simmons is on track to break two lofty marks he set in 2017/18.

He hit 38 double-doubles last year and 12 triple-doubles. This year he already has 27 double-doubles and seven triple-doubles.

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Ben Simmons is on track to smash his double-double and triple-double records.

But his current form has seen him register five triple-doubles in his last 13 matches and 76ers coach Brett Brown said he is deserving of the lofty accolade.

“I think he’s on a mission to win games and be an All-Star,” the Philadelphia 76ers head coach said on Wednesday. “And I will do everything I can to help him.”

For Simmons, an All-Star berth would be humbling.

“I think being selected as an All-Star is a great accomplishment. Being an All-Star, you’re looked at as being one of the best players in the league,” he said.

“Being in the NBA is already a great accomplishment for a lot of guys and I want to get to that next level. I believe what I’ve been doing as of late has shown that I’m up there with those guys.”

Simmons, a Kayo Sports ambassador, is stuck in a dogfight for an All-Star spot, sitting fourth in guard voting in the Eastern Conference behind Kyrie Irving (2.3m votes), Dwyane Wade (1.1m votes) and Kemba Walker (858,798 votes).

Simmons is sitting on 695,032 votes, according to the second round of fan vote returns released by the NBA on Thursday, almost 130,000 votes ahead of the fifth placed Victor Oladipo.

The fan votes will account for 50 per cent of the vote with player selection and media selection accounting for a further 25 per cent each with those voters completing one full ballot featuring two guards and three frontcourt players from each conference.

The two guards and three frontcourt players with the best score in each conference will be named NBA All-Star Game starters.

The two team captains will be the two players with the highest accumulation of votes and after the vote will draft rosters from the pool of players voted as starters and reserves in each conference, making their picks regardless of conference affiliation.

With the 76ers currently 27-16 for the season and sitting in fourth in the Eastern Conference, Simmons said his side are starting to hit their straps.

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Ben Simmons has been in incredible form.

On a personal note, he’s hoping to take his game to the next level.

“Personally I think I’ve got a lot of growing to do in terms of defence and offence but I can see the growth starting to happen slowly over time,” he said.

“I’m putting the work in to get to where I want to be and I think the sky’s the limit as long as I have the mentality to go out every night and try to get better and get wins for my team.

“(The 76ers) have some things locked down where we look great but we have a lot of growing to do at the same time.

“We have a lot of young guys on the team and it’s going to take a lot to get to the next level but I believe in what we have and the coaching staff we have that we can get there but it really depends on how hard we push each other.”

Source: news.com.au

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Nellakir helps young athletes reach their goals by providing the highest quality Sprung Timber Sports Floor playing surfaces.