Point guard of the future: Will Ben Simmons become the best?
A superb 2018 season saw Simmons win rookie of the year. If he continues to develop his jump shot and court vision, he might just become the best point guard in the league.
Currently, the point guard competition in the NBA is fierce. Players from both the east and west have the skill to be arguably the best in the league. Although Simmons is only in his second season, he is vastly superior to any guard in the east.
John Wall has been the top point guard in the Eastern Conference for the past few seasons, however, his time appears to be over. Failure in the postseason has led many critics, and even some of his own teammates to lose trust in him.
Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors is no different. He hasn’t really progressed in the last few seasons. Although the Raptors found themselves with the top seed in the east, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers made quick work of them in the second round.
In Boston, Kyrie Irving has the scoring prowess to put him among the best guards in the league. However, his lack of court vision and defense don’t give him the chops required to be the best.
Simmons is missing only a single facet to his game, shooting. The development of this alone would propel him to be one of the best overall players in the league.
Simmons was seen working out with LeBron James yesterday:
LeBron & Ben Simmons working out this morning. pic.twitter.com/yME56jUDkF
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) September 5, 2018
Best in the league? Let’s start with the Western Conference
It’s hard to rank the best point guard in the league without a handful from the west. Four out of the last five championships have been won by the Western Conference and for good reason. The point guard competition in the west puts the Eastern Conference to shame.
Steph Curry was recently a two-time MVP and took home the Larry O’Brien trophy the past two seasons. His uptempo style of play is hard to match by any defender in the league. His shooting prowess, along with his unrivaled selflessness has made him the top guard in the past half decade.
Chris Paul of the Houston Rockets was a single game away from going to the championship this past season. His court vision might be the best in the entire league. Mid-range pullups are effortless for him, and his lack of size helps him cut across entire defenses. Although he fell short to Curry last season, the NBA might be singing a different story if he never sat out due to injury.
Russell Westbrook is an absolute dynamo in Oklahoma City. Despite the Thunder losing in the first round the past two seasons, his spectacular play is never missed by fans and critics alike. Although his jump shot hasn’t really progressed, he is a monster on the boards and driving to the basket. If he finds the right role players to make the engine run, the Thunder could easily find themselves in the NBA finals behind Westbrook.
Even Twitter agrees that Simmons is the best young player to build a team around:
Who are you building your team around? As big of a booker fan I am I would have to say Ben Simmons
— Jacob (@Jacob__NBA) September 5, 2018
Can Simmons outshine the rest of the talent in the league?
Although the season hasn’t even started, the ‘Fresh Prince’ could easily become the best guard in the league. There aren’t many guards with the size and strength of James and passing ability of Magic Johnson.
Simmons seems to get better every game and if his jumper improves the league won’t be able to handle the Sixers. Boston has the edge right now with Irving and Gordon Hayward returning from injury, however, they don’t have the developing talent of Simmons and Joel Embiid.
Fans haven’t seen a big man/guard duo on a similar skill level since the days of Kobe and Shaq. It is easy to pinpoint a skilled guard when the surrounding team disappoints year after year. Westbrook and the Thunder experience this almost every year.
What teams like the Warriors and Rockets fear the most is a dynamic duo that is almost unstoppable every possession down the court. Simmons and Embiid could be this duo, with the Australian point guard running the entire show.
The City of Brotherly Love has a lot of love to give this season, especially if Simmons can develop his jump shot. The rest of the NBA should be on red alert with Simmons poised to become the best point guard in the league.
Featured Image: The Wing via Flickr.com