NBA playoffs 2018: Ben Simmons' historic playoff series earning praise from teammates, Heat

Ben Simmons
Ben Simmons (Getty Pictures)

In Ben Simmons’ first NBA playoffs, he is placing up numbers matched by just a few of the sport’s biggest gamers as rookies.

Simmons had a triple-double within the 76ers’ 106-102 win over the Heat Saturday, with 17 factors, thirteen rebounds and 10 assists. That is the primary triple-double by a rookie within the NBA playoffs since Magic Johnson in 1980. It is also the primary triple-double by a 76ers participant within the playoffs since Charles Barkley pulled the feat in 1991.

If being talked about in the identical breath as Magic Johnson is not spectacular sufficient, think about this: Simmons had 60 factors, 30 rebounds and 29 assists within the 76ers’ first three playoff video games. The one different participant in NBA historical past with no less than 60 factors, 25 rebounds and 25 assists after three profession playoff video games? Oscar Robertson.

Three different NBA gamers have posted triple-doubles as rookies: Lew Alcindor, who later modified his identify to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, in 1970, Jerry Lucas (1964) and Tom Gola (1956).

It isn’t like Simmons’ play in main the 76ers to a three-1 lead over the Heat is a complete shock. The presumptive NBA Rookie of the Yr averaged 15.eight factors, eight.2 assists and eight.1 rebounds per recreation this season. However he is put up even higher numbers within the playoffs (19.three pgg, 10.eight rpg, 9.three apg).

“He is very robust bodily however he is even harder mentally,” 76ers guard JJ Redick stated after Recreation four. “The final 4 video games have been as vocal and demonstrative as I’ve seen him all season, he is been incredible. He is popping out of his shell with regard to management and that is large for us.”

Heat star Dwyane Wade has an uncommon perspective on Simmons. He recollects how Simmons, who performed highschool basketball in Florida, watched Wade and fellow Heat star LeBron James, and soaked within the expertise.

“You might see the best way he checked out guys like ourselves and the way we labored. He was taking notes, psychological notes,” Wade stated earlier than Recreation four (by way of NBA.com).

“To see him a number of years later, and see the place he’s in his recreation and the impact on a state and a metropolis to play the sport of basketball on such a excessive degree, it’s spectacular.”

76ers coach Brett Brown praised each Simmons and 76ers middle Joel Embiid (14 factors,12 rebounds) after Saturday’s recreation.

“I feel that these two gamers have the prospect to be nice … and they’re ours,” Brown stated. “They’re incredible teammates, they coexist nicely. … How do you develop these two guys collectively? They want one another, they usually perceive that.”