Aussie rookie NBA sensation will be on the NBA All-Star squad next season and he is putting up the sort of statistics that make his snubbing from this year’s game seem like injustice of the most egregious variety.
Playing against the Charlotte Hornets recently, he posted his 25th double-double of the season, with 16 points and 13 assists. Had he managed to grab two more rebounds, Simmons would have made it a triple-double.
He took nine shots from the field and eight of those shots found the bottom of the basket. In round numbers, that equates to an 89 percent shooting average.
It was a night for the defenses to rest, as the final outcome of the 76ers’ 128 – 114 win would seem to clearly indicate.
Lest Simmons get overly confident or risk crossing over into arrogance territory, he committed one turnover. He told Associated Press reporters, “I try not to get caught up in what people say. Some people want me to score more and do certain things. I try not to feed into that. I don’t have to be a guy that comes out and has 30 points every game right now. I think the best thing I can do out there is find my teammates and do what I’m really good at and that’s finding guys.”
He found 13 guys on the evening, although it is more accurate to point out that he may have found some guys more than once.
Simmons was a bit miffed when he was left off the All-Star squad in February, but he is making a mockery of the selectors who used the spots on the All-Star team for what they are: ceremonial, meaningless nominations, except in the case of some players, who have All-Star selection clauses in their contracts worth considerable filthy lucre.
Unlike the previous game, where the 76ers jumped out to a quick lead, only to see it vanish when the final horn sounded, against Charlotte, they put their foot on the gas and the Hornets’ throats from start to finish.
The 76ers are well positioned in terms of making the playoffs and if Simmons can continue making the sort of noise he has been making, there will be resounding chants of “MVP, MVP” rattling the rafters of the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.