Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons left Saturday night’s game against the Orlando Magic because of back tightness and was later ruled out for the remainder of the contest, according to The Athletic’s Josh Robbins.
Simmons had four points and four assists in eight minutes against the Magic.
Considering Simmons missed the entire 2016-17 season following foot surgery after the 76ers made him the No. 1 pick in the 2016 draft out of LSU, any physical setback is sure to draw worry from the Philadelphia faithful.
Still, the versatile playmaker exploded onto the scene in 2017-18, finishing with 15.8 points, 8.2 assists and 8.1 rebounds per game as the Rookie of the Year.
His ability to serve as a facilitating point guard at 6’10”, score over smaller defenders from inside the lane or attack the basket off the dribble makes him difficult to deal with on the offensive end, and his emergence has propelled the 76ers alongside big man Joel Embiid.
The 76ers will likely go a more conventional route than a 6’10” playmaker at point guard if Simmons misses time and turn toward T.J. McConnell and Markelle Fultz for additional minutes.
While they can keep the team afloat in the short term, any chance of realistically competing for a spot in the NBA Finals likely falls on how quickly Simmons can return to action.
Courtesy: Bleacher Report