Is This Your Rookie of The Year?!

B-Moore 06.26.2018 Sports , , , , , , ,

The Rookie of the Year with a limited game.

The same guy who is actually a 2nd year player.

The same guy who couldn’t hit a jumper to save his life.

Diamond in the rough looked more like a lump of coal.

Merry Christmas bitches!

I know, I know, ROY is a regular season award. And yes he had triple doubles as a second year rookie. He reminded us a lot of Ason (no typo, because early on he had no J) Kidd. Truth hurts sometimes. You remember when Lebron was in Miami and he would try to hit game winners by shooting a jumper? People kept begging him to drive to the lane, be more aggressive, get closer, take a better shot. Well, it looks like someone was listening, it just wasn’t Lebron.

It was Ben Simmons.

Simmons plays like he believes his athleticism will allow him to get whatever shot he wants on the floor. And on most nights in the regular season, he’s right. He gained confidence in the playoffs by playing a diminished Miami team that managed to win a game with Dwayne Wade’s half rotten carcass making big plays.

In the second round of the playoffs he noticed that the lane was clogged. He can’t play bully ball against someone like Marcus Morris because of his size and strength. Passing lanes are diminished because everyone in the arena knows Simmons’ worst kept secret.

He’s scared to shoot the ball.

Terrified is more like it.

On many plays during the Boston series I noticed him get inside the 3-point line and immediately look for somewhere to pass the ball if he didn’t have a way to drive to the hoop. During similar plays, the defender is giving a large amount of cushion that would equate to a practice jump shot. He will rarely take advantage of this and ends up swinging the ball around. Which, to his defense, is the better basketball play.

In the regular season, this would probably work like Magic against a team like the Magic. (See what I did there, triple entendre, don’t ask me how)

He can’t be a star or generational talent playing like this. He’s not the next Magic Johnson. In the series against Boston, not only was he a half way crook, he looked scared to death.

His current game is what we asked of Lebron, for years. Thank God Lebron knew better than us.

Exposing Ben Simmons became a nightly event against Boston. Instead of him leading the team, he had Embiid and 3 modern versions of Toni Kukoc with JJ Redick making the big plays. He’s averaged a paltry 13.5 ppg and shooting 45%, which isn’t terrible.

But here’s where context comes in; the majority of these makes come inside the paint. His assist to turnover ratio in this series was 1.3. His game suffered all around.

He’s a rookie who played against one of the best coaches in the game. This does not negate the fact that there is a huge hole in his game that will hamper the 76ers future success. The bigger picture is maybe he’s a product of an AAU system that focuses more on athleticism and less on the true skill of how to play basketball.

I’m not talking about the Bill Walton style “never jump to pass” triple threat basketball. I mean a sound all around game.

I also have to wonder how coachable this kid is. It’s hard to believe that no one has advised him that his jump shot is garbage.

He will get better. All rookies have this moment in their career where there is a hole in their game. LBJ didn’t come out of HS with a wet jumper. In his first career playoff run he just averaged 30.8ppg, shot 47%, assist to turnover was 1.17.

Oh.

The Lebron comparison was a little premature. Not premature, embryotic even.

He’s not Lebron. He damn sure ain’t Magic.

Magic was jumping center in the NBA finals as a rookie. Just for consistency sake during the Lakers title run, as a rookie Magic averaged 18.3ppg, 51% from the field, assist to turnover was 2.32. And he almost averaged a triple double also. Averaging 9.4 assists and 10.5 rebounds respectively.

Magic and Lebron were special. Ben Simmons is just a good player that is a product of a media machine on overdrive. He didn’t make LSU better, he shrunk in the playoffs, he doesn’t have next – which is ok. Every Batman needs a Robin which makes sense since Joel Embiid was wearing the mask.

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