NBA

Ben Simmons says he should be "playing better" despite impressive start to NBA career

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Ben Simmons has made a terrific start to his NBA career with the Philadelphia 76ers and has already become a dominant player on the court.

The rookie is almost averaging a triple-double with 18.4 points, 9.1 rebounds and 7.7 assists while shooting 53 percent from the field across seven games.

The point forward has already joined some legendary players with the numbers he's been putting up to start his first campaign.

The 21-year-old most recently joined Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson as the only other player to net 100 points, 50 rebounds, and 40 assists over his first six appearances, according to Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype.

But despite his remarkable performances, Simmons is not satisfied and believes he's actually underachieving.

"I thought I’d be playing better, honestly," Simmons told Keith Pompey of Philly.com. "I need to pick it up. It’s awesome (being in the NBA). I wouldn’t want to do anything else. I love what I do. I’m just grateful to be here, just got to keep working."

The youngster's confidence is clear to see and he displays this on the floor and has a fearless approach when going against more experienced NBA players.

His best performance came in Philly's most recent 115-107 win on the road against the Houston Rockets where the LSU product produced a brilliant all-round display to upset one of the best teams in the league. 

Even though he was the number one overall pick in 2016, he has exceeded expectations and looks better than many imagined.

“Everyone knew he was going to be good, but he’s way better than expected,” Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said after Saturday’s 112-110 loss to the Sixers.

After a year out with injury, the time he spent with the 76ers coaches and studying the game has definitely given him an advantage as he seems extremely comfortable orchestrating the team on the floor and executing the plays set out by head coach Brett Brown.

These aren't traits you usually see from first-year players at such a young age but the Australian already has star potential and a maturity beyond his years.

Once he regained full fitness, the Sixers had no doubts about giving him playmaking responsibilities and he's almost played in every position during the seven games he's featured in.

The one obvious weakness in the Aussie's game is shooting as he's struggled with his jumper and free-throws early on. He's 0-of-4 from deep and 23-of-41 from the free-throw line.

So far, he's been able to get to the rim at will but defenders are increasingly sitting back to block his route to the basket and daring him to shoot, which has been the only way to stop him.

When asked what it would mean if he developed a consistent jumper, Simmons replied: "It’s going to be pretty tough to guard me."

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

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