PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Ben Simmons was brilliant in his first ever NBA game.
Simmons scored 18 points on 7-15 shooting, adding 10 rebounds and 5 assists. Maybe more impressively, Simmons recorded just one turnover is his first ever NBA game while running point-guard for a team high 35 minutes.
Simmons joined Grant Hill as the only players since 1983-84 to record at least 18 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists in their NBA debut. Hill scored 25 points, but had three turnovers and played three more minutes than Simmons.
With 2:06 left in the game, Ben Simmons went to the line with the Sixers down seven and missed both. But, on the very next possession, Simmons — after recording a steal — gets fouled in transition and goes back to the line with 1:44 left, his team still down seven points.
And he sunk both to make it a five-point game.
“Just looking at Joel Embiid out there with the lights on his jersey,” Simmons said after the game. “I was like, ‘man, I’m actually here.'”
“Really, there were times he could have finished even more,” Brett Brown said after the game, per ESPN.com. “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, can be off the charts.”
“He’s finding the open guys in different transition situations,” Robert Covington, who scored 29 points on 7-11 from three-point range, said of Simmons. “He has great vision. And being 6-foot-11 … there’s nobody in the league that has that besides LeBron [James]. Guys like Ben, they’re rare.”
The Sixers may have lost the game 115-110, but they have a slew of young talent that fans must be excited about.