The rookie season of Ben Simmons was great. It was historical; something we had never seen before. Simmons has the potential to be an NBA superstar, one of the league’s transcendent players, but it takes time and must earn his position to the top.
Simmons enters his second season in the NBA, giving him the opportunity to play the “rook” without “hazing.” At the same time, however, it no longer has the advantage of navigating with the type of conversation “for a beginner.”
There is a chance for the 22-year old, to reach the next level and make a leap in many facets of his game. Can Simmons use the 2018-19 season to become the NBA superstar meant to become?
We talked about Nauseam and Simmons’ jump shot, but it’s part of his game he’s focused on and should improve if he wants to think about jumping to the next level of athletes.
While Simmons worked to improve his jump shot, you do not expect any sudden changes from the beginning. We should not fool ourselves that this Melbourne-lad will simply start throwing three-pointers or even that he will need much more mid-range pull-ups. It will not happen, and it is not necessary to do so.
We could see some improvements in the choice of his selection of shots, but the most important thing to look at is his free throw position.
The two numbers that the emerging NBA superstar would have seen after his beginner’s season were: 56 and 4.2.
In only 4.2 attempts per game, he shot 56 percent from the line. That will not cut it.
The Rookie of the Year worked with his older brother Liam to settle his jump shot, and in particular his free throw. The movement is now more conscious, his elbow is more involved, while his shooting hand is more at right angles, as opposed to the former acute angle. The nature of this opportunity means that we will see more pull shots instead of flings, but the hope is that Simmons can increase its stake to at least 70.
With a higher percentage of free throws, the deterrent to reaching the line would have almost declined, and a new aspect of the Simmons game could get opened. And if the jumper (especially the free throw) has improved as much as announced, we could see that he is becoming one of the league’s NBA superstars.
The All-Star of the Australian NBA
Here’s the point: Simmons will be an All-Star in 2019.
All you need to know is that he will probably play in two different games in Charlotte. What you call All-Star is an arbitrary compliment and should not only be used to judge how good a player is, but there are rewards with the title.
Being an All-Star means that Simmons is considered one of the best players in the world regarding his teammates, coaches, and fans. It is an honor that no Australian had in a great American league with the likes of Lauren Jackson, Penny Taylor and Liz Cambage have done it in the WNBA.
More important for Simmons is that it’s the beginning of heredity. We always hear from the 19-time All-Star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar; the 18-time All-Star, Kobe Bryant; and 14 times All-Star, LeBron James, on the way to becoming an NBA superstar, you must first be able to be described as a “perennial” All-Star.
The 2018-19 seasons could and probably will be the first step.
Is ‘Average Triple Double’ a long shot?
If Simmons wanted to skip lines and become an NBA superstar right away, there is one thing he can do: average a triple-double.
Considering what Simmons has already shown us, this kind of skill seems to be more difficult than it is really. Westbrook has done it twice in a row, but Simmons has the potential to make it even better.
Think: As a beginner, Simmons scored 15.8 points, 8.1 rebounds and 8.2 assists per game. With a year of core 76ers’ and an off-season improvement, it is very likely that these numbers can go up. Add the extra points he can get with a throw shot, and it’s good to say that Simmons could be in a season of 20, 10 and 10.
If that happens and there is a yes, at this point, the conclusion would be simple: Ben Simmons would turn up as an NBA superstar, and the 2018-19 seasons would be his emergence party.