– Let’s talk about Jayson Tatum. He plays for the Boston Celtics. He played at Duke. He has long, slender, athletic and offensively, he is gifted. He can shoot a 3. He can put a ball, as they say, on the deck, and drive the basket. He can finish at the rim. He is a tremendously agile athlete who is going to be a 24 point a game scorer for the next decade or more. I really, really like Jayson Tatum.
Let’s talk about Donovan Mitchell. He plays for Utah. He’s got a little Westbrook. He’s dynamic. He is quick. Difference is, he’s a really good shooter. He’s going to be a 24, 25 point a game guy or more for a long time in this league. He made a couple of shots yesterday near the basket, I have no idea how they went in.
He’s a dunk contest guy. He’s going to be exhilarating. Again, there’s some Westbrook there. He is also going to be a 24, 25 point a game guy for a decade. But only one of them, Ben Simmons, will change the league. By the way, Dominique Wilkins in his prime, averaged 30. George Gervin 33. T-Mac had a year he averaged 32. Magic changed the game. He averaged 19 in his career.
Ben Simmons is different, folks. A 6’10” point. Long, tough, he is already an elite defender. Unheard of as a rookie. He completely controls tempo. Most rookies walk into this league and it takes them a while to catch up to the speed of the NBA. It’s the opposite with him. Guards six inches shorter are struggling to keep up with his tempo.
Since Joel Embiid is hurt, the Sixers led by Ben Simmons, play faster than anybody in this league. He finishes at the rim. Of the three, he’s easily the best passer. Don’t get mesmerized by points. Bill Russell and Magic Johnson changed the world in basketball. Bill Russell was a defensive center, 11 titles. Magic’s career average, 19.
Ben Simmons will never, I imagine in his peak, average what Donovan Mitchell does. And I doubt he’ll ever be as clever scoring, especially from the perimeter, as Jayson Tatum. But you’re watching magic, you are. This kid, it is not hard. Don’t argue about Tiger when you saw him for the first time at 18. Don’t argue with the obvious.
First time you saw John Elway, don’t argue with it. Lots of guys in this league; I’ve grown up with a million guys who could score. George Gervin, Carmelo, Iverson, Karl Malone, Dominique, Pete Maravich, Alex English. They’re great players. They didn’t change everything.
This kid is totally different. He is already playing faster than the rest of the league. As a kid, he is already better than 90% of the guards defensively in this league. He is so strong and so long you just really cross your fingers when I watch him, that he’s durable.
Sometimes that’s just bad breaks. You land on somebody’s ankle, you’re out for a year. You bang somebody’s knee, you’re out for two months. For centers, they get banged up all the time. Guards generally don’t, though MJ missed a year, so did John Stockton, they can get hurt. And last year. Simmons should have been a rookie, but didn’t play due to injuries.
I watched this weekend, the NBA’s in very good hands. I read yesterday the ratings are up like 15-something percent in the playoffs, and they should be. All sorts of rookies look good this year. And three in particular looked good this weekend. One of them is an all-timer, Ben Simmons.
Source: Fox Sports