The coaching in Philly recently has been very strong, with Ben Simmons leading the unit on the court since the beginning of the 2017 season. In fact, Brett Brown may be one of the better ended coaches in the league currently- especially if he continues moving the team in the direction they look to be heading. But, as we know coaching, in itself, doesn’t single-handily make every player great. We see this year in and year out, they may help with players, but that’s the end of it.
We all have our favorite ballhandlers in the game – and Russell Westbrook is in a top 10 player in the game – but is he the premier PG playing? And Stephen Curry executes a super exciting style game better than most anyone in the league today. He is a true generational player, with his ridiculous shooting ability, and his game changing style.
Ben Simmons has been great with ball distribution – and better with maintaining ball control than almost everyone else in the NBA. At around 8 dimes/game, along with a wicked ability to pass the ball better than most in his crucial PG position. He is one of the players that would be successful with any team in need of a spark playing alongside him, based on his PG abilities. People tend to lose track the amount of bigtime games, he had led the Sixers to, and I, for one, would think has to stand for something in regards to leadership ability. Simmons is certainly a huge reason for the Sixers wins, and his skills have helped the team tremendously, of course.
The other closest PG in leadership to Ben would most likely be Curry of the Warriors. The problem with Curry is he takes around 58% of his shots outside the arc, his ability to take a game over in more than one way is limited. His mid range shooting skills lack a bit, and he leans back to firing away from 30′ a bit too much when the team needs more headstrong play. Steph is stuck in his game style of chucking 8-10 3pt shots/game far more than Ben Simmons and his 12 total shots/game. Curry is obviously a great player, and a future HoF’er – and has a great basketball game – but not having the true PG game that Simmons has shown.
As we know, stats don’t always fully tell the whole story in players – and they never do. But, just the same, stats are very important – but just like rings, they cannot be the only piece of the game to look at. 28 year old Damian Lillard has gotten his usual big numbers this season, but he doesn’t have the best ball distribution ability either. Lillard is quietly one of the best on the courts today, and a top 7-8 PG, without a doubt – but he’s not the best playing right now. The casual fans main thought for the best PG – besides Curry is likely Russell Westbrook. Westbrook is not the guy I want handling the ball and making decisions when the chips are down, and that’s the truth. With a high turnover ratio and poor shot selection – Simmons stands head and shoulders over Russ in the PG category.
Ben has consistently been a top 5 in the league for assists/game, in his young career, and the 6-10 PG plays great when it matters most. With 26 pts vs Golden State back in a huge road win, and his triple double vs Cleveland was nothing to shake your head at. Hanging another 26 and knocking down tough buckets vs the Raptors back on 12.22.2018. There are sometimes – when the 22 year old can appear to be the only player on the court with a basketball, doing what he wants, orchestrating the teams direction. With full understanding as to what the end result is going to be, during the game.
Ben Simmons is in a spot that is pretty sweet to be in right now. He consistently takes care of the ball, and he scores points regardless of who is playing on the court with him. He makes good solid players out of guys who would be far less productive without him. He has gotten them better and great shots, this is based on Simmons making defenses collapse, and his ability to spit the ball back out, opening up the court. Ben isn’t chasing after just the fat stats, because he understands that the game and letting it all come together is what really matters, he lets the game unfold for him, he doesn’t force it, as Westbrook sometimes does. Westbrook – who at times, seems to look like he is more interested in being the triple double machine, instead of being a team guy.
Many can argue it’s Westbrook as the best PG – until you line their most vital numbers next to each other. Simmons can control a game better than Russ as well as shoot better and turn the ball over far less. A couple of the things I look at as being the key factor as the best PG in the NBA. And quite honestly, I feel Kyrie Irving and Curry are both better guards than Westbrook. You can certainly dislike a player, or the team they play for, while still giving them the correct recognition to their talent.
Simply put – forget the great stats, look passed the numbers – push all of that aside – ask yourself one simple and honest question. With the game on the line and one big clutch play is needed, with time ticking away on the clock, who are you putting in charge of putting points on the board? Westbrook, Curry, or Ben Simmons? Simmons gets it done, more than any of the others, except maybe Curry – based on the fact that Curry probably has gotten off 20 shots and has no problem chucking up another in rhythm. Simmons is the best true PG still playing in the NBA today – because he makes everyone around him better, makes very little mistakes, and is a great game player.
Westbrook and Curry can score with ease, and are a ton of fun to watch get their shots, and score their massive points. And Kyrie can impress really well with his beyond human dribbling ability, but Simmons makes everyone work together and keeps the team on the same page with his control and leadership. A top notch PG is looked at, as the most important piece of leadership on the basketball court – I fully and honestly believe in that. And he has more than shown his leadership ability, and shows not one sign of slowing down. But neither his great stats nor the big wins tell the whole and complete story. It’s always all personal opinion, and Ben Simmons is the best PG today, in my eyes.
If I had to chose one PG to lead my basketball team on the court in today’s game, it would easily be Simmons.