STAR OF THE WEEK:
This week’s star goes to Ben Simmons! The seven day period was not the rookie’s best week of professional basketball. Yet, even at Simmons’ worst the point guard was still better than everyone else.
Philadelphia opened up against the Phoenix Suns with the rookie from LSU fighting a flu bug. But it was the Suns’ Devin Booker who made the 76ers sick, as the guard dropped 46 points. Simmons played well despite the illness, netting 20-points, 8-rebounds, 7-assists and 6-steals, however the game belonged to Phoenix 115 – 101.
In a 107 – 104 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers the star proved again that even in his strife he can find conquest. Despite shooting 6-for-14 the guard notched his fourth triple-double of the season. Much like there is no such thing as an ugly billionaire, there is no such thing as an ugly triple-double. Few players can struggle to 15-assists, 13-rebounds and 12-points and regardless of the result such an output should be commended.
LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers were the final game and final loss (105 – 98) of the week. But not before the pup posted another double-double with 14-points and 10-assists in the King’s palace. His numbers for the week were very impressive, 15.3-points, 10.7-assists, 8.7-boards, and 2.3-steals, even if the team’s performance was not.
STAT OF THE WEEK:
Three the Hard Way
Philadelphia began the season losing three straight, and rebounded quickly to win six of their next seven games. With the season barely a quarter old Philly has hit its second three game losing streak. This time it is in the middle of losing four of their last five.
Several early season losing streaks is nothing new for the Brett Brown led 76ers. The coach has experienced multiple losing streaks of three games or more in the first quarter of the year in each of his five seasons. However, this year was believed to be different.
Inconsistency is to be expected with such a young core, but the key is developing the young talent to avoid further slipups. This season was thought to be the year where everything fell into place and this young group was ready to start a new chapter in Sixers’ history. The season is still early and hopefully things will not remain more of the same.
BEN SIMMONS VS. EVERYBODY
Michael Carter-Williams and Allen Iverson are the only Philadelphia 76ers to win Rookie of the Year honors. While there is no documented rhyme or reason as to how one acquires the prestigious award, a season’s worth of statistical dominance and team success are not a bad place to begin an argument. Keeping with the dominance theme, each week we will examine the top rookie performers in the previous seven day period.
This week’s top rookie performer is Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics. The rookie has played well all season, and that continued this week. Tatum’s best performance came in a 111 – 100 victory against the visiting Milwaukee Bucks. The forward dropped 14-points in the first quarter en route to the 11 point win. For the week the former Duke Blue Devil averaged 18.0-points and 8.0-rebounds. He was also exceptionally efficient shooting 57 percent from the field, and 66 percent from three.
Here are some of the other top rookie performers (statistics are for the week):
ANSWERING THE CALL – A.I.’s Rookie Year
It has been exactly 20 seasons since Hall-of-Fame guard Allen Iverson first blessed the NBA hardwood and ignited the city of Philadelphia. From the moment the Virginia native donned a Philadelphia 76ers uniform fans everywhere had a feeling Iverson was special and their basketball prayers were finally answered.
The organization struggled mightily through five consecutive losing seasons before selecting the six foot powerhouse out of Georgetown, first overall. It appears the franchise has found another transcendent player, in first year “guard” Ben Simmons. Oddly enough this year’s prized rookie guard hits the court after yet another five consecutive losing seasons.
As spectators enjoy the greatness and infancy stages of Simmons’ career, it is hard to forget the last time Philly had something (or someone) this special to root for. So while we partake in the now, it is impossible to not reminisce the before.
The 76ers were in the middle of a losing streak that reached 10 games by week’s end. Since their 3 – 3 start Philly had gone 4 – 15, star rookie Allen Iverson was no longer the bane of every team’s existence. Teams were now focusing on the guard and taking great pride in Iverson’s recent struggles.
In a 93 – 84 loss to the Charlotte Hornets the rookie shot a miserable 5-of-18, including 0-of-6 from the arc. The visiting Knicks made sure to keep those struggles alive for the 76er lead guard. Philly lost yet again 110 – 103 to New York. This time the former Georgetown Hoya shot 7-of-23 and fouled out late in the contest.
The week ended with a motivated Chicago Bulls club coming to Philly. In the first match-up Iverson did not take to well to the constant prodding at the hands of Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman. His Airness eventually attempted to play good cop, to which A.I. told him to "Get the (bleep) out of here." And with that the battle lines were drawn. Iverson’s 11-of-23 performance was interrupted by nine turnovers and overshadowed by a 111 – 105 loss, the 76ers’ 10th straight.
It was now clear stopping the guard was the focal point of every team and he was fighting through that adjustment.
TWEET OF THE WEEK: