Fresh off winning Eastern Conference Player of the Week, Australian star Ben Simmons produced more of the same in Brooklyn, extending a career high of 5 straight 20 point games with a 34 point, 12 rebound and 12 assist performance on Martin Luther King day.
This performance was by far the best showing of his career. He has had other important games, other huge statistical games, but the timing of this one made it all the more special.
After a good start to the game for him but not his team, Philadelphia went into the 3rd quarter with an attacking mindset. It didn’t matter, the Nets lead trickled to 10 with just over 2 minutes left in the quarter. Simmons would go on to put up 9 points in the final minutes alone and cut the lead down to just 1.
Then, they ramped up the pressure. Matisse Thybulle and Simmons began to unleash their defensive prowess, generating an incredible amount of turnovers and Simmons himself grabbing multiple clutch rebounds. Simmons would end up with 5 steals and 2 blocks along with his 10 defensive rebounds.
What led to this big performance? Firstly, his minutes playing Center were immensely productive. His value as a roll man in pick situations showed dazzling promise and resulted in a lot of his buckets.
Secondly, he was incredibly aggressive, taking advantage of any defensive lapse to attack, manipulating the opposition with his speed and height.
Thirdly, he made abundantly clear how beautiful his playmaking can be, with a number of mesmerising finds all over the court.
Finally, his effort and energy was ridiculous, constantly putting in 100% energy on both ends and ending up with more than 40 minutes played.
The main wildcard for Simmons will always be his aggressiveness, and recently he has put the good side on show. It just so happened that he was making his shots along with his aggression, hitting 12 of his 14 on the night.
He has already made a good impression for his East Player of the Week title defense.