NBA

Ben Simmons.

Kevin Durant says Ben Simmons is "something I've never seen before"

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Ben Simmons produced one of his best performances of the season so far but it wasn't enough to see off the Golden State Warriors as the Philadelphia 76ers surrendered a 22-point lead.

The Sixers put on an outstanding first-half display offensively as they poured in 47 points in the first quarter and 74 for the half to take a 74-52 lead into the locker room at the break.

Simmons ended the game with 23 points, eight rebounds and a career-high 12 assists as he continued his terrific rookie campaign.

The Aussie is already the clear favourite to win the Rookie of the Year award but he's quickly developing into the NBA's next superstar.

Playing at the point guard position at 6'10", he has drawn similarities to Magic Johnson with his excellent ball-handling and on-court vision.

After the game, Kevin Durant was full of praise for the 21-year-old and his unique ability.

“He’s something that I’ve never seen before as (really) playing the point guard. That height, that speed, and that strength,” Durant said. “You can tell he’s Aussie too, he doesn’t mind getting into some scuffles and showing his feisty side. That’s going to mean well for the Sixers down the line.”

After missing the entirety of last season with injury, Simmons has shown no effects of that setback and has hit the ground running in his first campaign in the league.

He's currently averaging an impressive 18.1 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 8.0 assists per game.

The LSU product already looks like a seasoned player compared to his fellow rookies and could potentially become an All-Star this year if he continues to post these numbers.

Joel Embiid may take a lot of the headlines with his dominant displays on both ends of the floor but Simmons deserves just as much credit for his all-around skill set and the way he orchestrates the 76ers offence.

After facing Philadelphia twice over the past week, Durant believes they will be a force in the years to come.

"They've got Joel (Embiid) playing well and locking in Covington was huge for them. This year, next year and the year after that they're going to be pretty good so you're seeing a team now that you should start following and start paying attention to," he said.

Boston Celtics v Philadelphia 76ers

Philly is now 8-7 in the Eastern Conference and has shown in the early part of the campaign that they will have a strong chance to make the playoffs.

They may have eventually fallen short against Golden State but their performance shows that they're no longer a laughing stock and deserve to be taken seriously.

Topics:
NBA
Western Conference
Pacific Division
Golden State Warriors
Philadelphia 76ers
Atlantic Division
Eastern Conference
Kevin Durant
Oklahoma City Thunder
Northwest Division

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