Ben Simmons‘ first season as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers was a success in terms of showing that he will be a player to be respected down the road. What’s next for Ben Simmons after having a rookie season similar to the rookie season of Magic Johnson? Ben Simmons will have to take the Philadelphia 76ers deep into the playoffs next year.
What’s Next for Ben Simmons After Winning Rookie of the Year Award?
How Simmons Won Rookie of the Year
There was a big battle for Rookie of the Year between Donovan Mitchell and Ben Simmons in 2018. The voting did not reflect that though. Mitchell only had 11 of the first place votes compared to Ben Simmons’ 90.
Simmons walked away with the award and the bragging rights this season. He joins a list of other big-time ROTY award winners like LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Blake Griffin, Allen Iverson and Kevin Durant.
Simmons won the award after averaging a ridiculous 15.8 points, 8.1 rebounds and 8.2 assists per game. That can be compared to Magic Johnson‘s rookie year when he averaged 18 points, 7.7 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game. Simmons solidified his name as one of the best players under 25 in the NBA.
What’s Next for Simmons?
There can be a lot of pressure on a player after winning ROTY. Simmons can be like ROTY winners LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, who each took four years to make it to the finals. If things don’t go well he can be like ROTY winners Derrick Rose and Blake Griffin, who have never been to the finals.
Simmons has the privilege of being on one the better teams in the Eastern Conference. That chance is heightened with LeBron James now out of the east. The Sixers are thinking of making it to the finals next year. Simmons is one of the big reasons why. The only thing in the way is the Boston Celtics.
How the Simmons will Help the Sixers in the Playoffs
The Sixers will be able to make it far in the playoffs if they are able to make their threes. Simmons will be tasked to find those shooters. Robert Covington and J.J. Redick were the two main shooters that Simmons had to pass to. Both players are now back and ready to play. Covington was 11th in three-pointers made last year with 203 and Redick was 14th with 193 made. Dario Saric is also worth mentioning at 34th with 157 made threes.
Simmons will be tasked to find all these players around the perimeter and he has proven from last season he can do that. He will make better decisions this year, after a full season under his belt with playoff experience. Simmons can help the Sixers if he improves his jump shot. Last year he shot 31 percent on jump shots, which is not good for a ‘point guard’ that is asked to do as much as Simmons is. He will also need to work on protecting the ball, as he was fourth in total turnovers with 278.
The Celtics held Simmons to one point in game two of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. When Simmons plays against better defensive teams, an improved jump shot will help him score with ease. The defense will have to play up to respect his jumper leading to easier drives to the basket, assuming he can improve his shot. The Celtics, Jazz, and Spurs were among the best defensive teams in the league. Simmons shot well against the Spurs, shooting 62 percent. Against the Jazz and Celtics, though, he had his fourth and fifth worst shooting percentages.
If the Sixers want to get anywhere this season, Simmons needs to improve his shot.
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