Ben Simmons showed why he’s the clear favorite to win the Rookie of the Year award in Saturday’s 130-103 win over the Heat.
Simmons got it done on both ends of the floor, and was the difference-maker in the game. The offense ran through him, and he set his teammates up with a number of great looks.
The 76ers rookie scored 17 points, had 14 assists and pulled in nine rebounds, nearly attaining a triple-double in his first-ever playoff game, which would’ve been extremely impressive.
Still, Simmons turned in a huge performance, and even though he’s only 21 years old, the game clearly was not too big for him. He was asked about how he felt playing in his first career playoff game by reporters after the contest was in the books, and he had this to say:
“I just need to come in, stay with my routine, and lock in,” Simmons said. “I think locking in is the biggest routine for me.”
He then explained what he believes is the main difference between a regular-season and playoff game.
“You’ve gotta come in and be locked in the whole game,” Simmons said. “There are no breaks. So, you know, I think that’s the biggest difference I’ve noticed with this first game than the regular season, is that you’ve gotta be locked in the whole game.”
Simmons was calm, cool and collected on the court, and, most importantly, he was effective. He looked like a veteran out there, which projects extremely well for the future of the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft.