Ben Simmons is on top of the world. The 22-year-old Australian player is still riding high on his Rookie of the Year award win, partying in Las Vegas for his birthday with friends, and is dating celebrity Kendall Jenner. His off-court escapades are well-deserved but it won’t be long before he gets back down to business and begins preparations for the upcoming 2018-19 season.
The Philadelphia 76ers have been catapulted as a top-2, maybe a top-3 team in the Eastern Conference after LeBron James headed west to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers. Simmons, Joel Embiid, Dario Saric, and recently recovering Markelle Fultz will be a force to be reckoned with this season. They still face stiff competition from the Boston Celtics and will need to improve across the board if they want to emerge from the Eastern Conference.
In order for the Sixers to rise to the top of the East, Simmons will have to take his already impressive game to the next level. His strong rebounding, amazing passing ability, and defensive stats make him a unique backcourt threat on a nightly basis. His weaknesses include the lack of an outside game and a less-than-desirable accuracy from the charity stripe. Former number-one pick Markelle Fultz was limited to playing just 17 games in 2017-18 as he was hampered by a nagging shoulder injury. His rehabilitation has been progressing well and that he has been able to reconstruct his shot.
He averaged 15.8 ppg, 8.3 rpg, and 8.1 apg in 81 games. Expect Simmons to improve his numbers across the board as gets more comfortable being the co-leader of a young and up-and-coming NBA team, hungry for more and more success. Given his age, there’s still time and opportunity for him to work on developing his long game. He already has a world-class court vision which ranks among the best in the league. It’s crazy to imagine what an improved Simmons will bring to the table.