Ben Simmons’ triple-double paces Sixers, takes offense to next level

CLEVELAND – Ben Simmons is capable of having more performances similar to the one he had against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday.

In order to do so, he just needs to consistently be as aggressive as he was to start this game. Simmons led the Philadelphia 76ers in scoring after the first quarter and went on to notch his third triple-double of the season and 15th of his career. It all culminated in a 128-105 victory for the Philadelphia 76ers over the Cavaliers.

The reigning NBA Rookie of the Year finished with 22 points, 11 rebounds and a season-high 14 assists. Along with that, he also didn’t turn the ball over for the second time this season.

While Simmons’ ability to facilitate is his best strength, his ability to drive to the basket and score was on display throughout the game. He shot 60 percent from the field and got to the free throw line five times.

Simmons’ ability to rack up triple-doubles shows how much he can impact games. The offense runs through Joel Embiid and Jimmy Butler commands attention as well, but when Simmons is attacking, he simply adds another threat to the Sixers offense.

“There is so many threats out there, obviously you have JJ (Redick) also and then Wilson (Chandler),” Simmons said. “Multiple guys who can finish and play the game the right way. And when it’s clicking, I think it just works.”

The Sixers have scored 120 or more points 11 times this season, and they are 9-2 when that’s the case. All of the starters scored in double figures, as Embiid led the team with 24 points. Landry Shamet had 16 points off the bench during an impressive performance of his own.

As Simmons recorded a season-high number of assists, coach Brett Brown was just as impressed that he didn’t turn the ball over a single time. Simmons was averaging 3.5 turnovers before Sunday’s game, leading the team in the category.

“Really he probably could have had six more points on some layups that he missed, but in general, I thought he was excellent,” Brown said. “He was our bell ringer tonight.”

Brown mentioned that Simmons has had to take a step back in the number of touches he gets due too Embiid, Butler and Redick receiving most of the touches within the offense.

But Simmons has to run the offense and make sure those players get their shots. If he can consistently get his own buckets and add another dimension to the offense, Philly is going to be in a good position in the Eastern Conference.

“We love it whenever he’s scoring, obviously passing the ball and rebounding. If he can get constant triple-doubles, we can get constant dubs,” Butler said.

What’s crazy about Simmons is that he can score 20 points without having the threat of a reliable jump shot. He could certainly use a mid-range jumper to keep defenses honest, but he still gets to the basket so well. When Simmons scores at least 20 points, the Sixers are 5-3.

With Philly grabbing this win and erasing its two-game skid, the next stop is in San Antonio to play the Spurs at 8:30 p.m. on Monday.

 

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