With his size and passing ability at the point guard position, Philadelphia 76ers rookie Ben Simmons has often drawn comparisons to Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson. Magic, of course, took the Lakers to another level as a team in his first season, and Simmons is trying to do the same with the 76ers.
The comparisons make sense as, like Magic, Simmons uses his size to see over smaller guards and whip beautiful passes to his teammates. His coach, Brett Brown, even watched film of Magic with Simmons so he could use learn some of the tricks of the Hall-of-Famer.
Now in his first playoff series, a heated, physical match-up with the Miami Heat, Simmons finds his name next to Magic’s again. According to the NBA History Twitter account, Simmons became the first rookie since Johnson to post a triple-double in the NBA playoffs:
Ben Simmons notches his first postseason triple-double, joining some elite names among rookies to do so in the Playoffs, Triple-Doubles by Rooks: NBA Postseason History: 1956 Tom Gola (#15) 1; 1964 Jerry Lucas 1; '70 @kaj33 1; ' 80 @MagicJohnson 5; 2018 Ben Simmons 1 @EliasSports pic.twitter.com/STGbFnAyi3
— NBA History (@NBAHistory) April 21, 2018
As proof of just how great Johnson was, he is the only player on the list with more than one playoff triple-double, notching five in total.
Simmons has made waves in his first year, becoming the favorite to win the Rookie of the Year Award while making history along the way. He totaled the second-most triple-doubles by a rookie during the regular season, passing Johnson and trailing only Oscar Robertson.
Simmons’ 17 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists led the Sixers to a hard-fought 106-102 win over the Heat, giving them a 3-1 series lead with a chance to close it out back at home. With as good as he has been, and as much as the team relies on Simmons, it wouldn’t be any surprise to see him post at least one more triple-double before these playoffs are over.
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