NBA

Ben Simmons joins elite company with stat lines from first two NBA games

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Philadelphia 76ers fans have had to wait patiently to see talented youngster Ben Simmons in action after he missed a year through injury.

The Australian made his long-awaited NBA debut on Wednesday night as the 76ers took on the Washington Wizards.

He then took to the Wells Fargo Center floor in Philly for the first time in the regular-season in a clash with the Boston Celtics last night.

In both encounters, the 22-year-old put his talent on display and showed how much of a threat he can be on both ends of the floor.

Despite losing both games, Simmons put up some solid numbers. He scored 18 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and dished out five assists in the season-opener against the Wizards.

Last night, he posted 11 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and a steal in the defeat to Boston.

These stat lines have put the rookie in elite company. Only four other players in NBA history can say they've had similar starts to the Aussie and they're all currently in the Hall of Fame.

The LSU product is just the fifth player ever to begin his playing career with at least 10 points, 10 boards, and five assists in each of his first two games.

He joins Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Connie Hawkins, Oscar Robertson and Elgin Baylor.

He's also the 11th player ever to notch consecutive double-doubles to open a campaign and the first in franchise history.

This has seen the young forward receive some high praise on social media for his performances with many gushing about his potential.

As proud as he'll be with his start, there's no doubt Simmons would prefer to trade these for wins as the Sixers have ambitions of making the playoffs this year.

They went into the fourth quarter against the Celtics with a 72-69 lead and were ahead for much of the game.

But their lack of experience told in the fourth quarter as they were outscored 33-20 and squandered a win.

“It’s a learning experience for us with a lot of young guys, but we have to capitalise, especially in the third quarter after we come back out,” Simmons said after the game.

Opening the season against two of the best teams in the east in Washington and Boston has not been the easiest of starts for Philadelphia.

But it doesn't get any easier as they travel to another of the top teams in the conference when they face the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre on Sunday.

Topics:
Eastern Conference
NBA
Atlantic Division
Joel Embiid
Philadelphia 76ers
Allen Iverson

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