Around 6 p.m., Ben Simmons spoke about mental fatigue and the frustrations it can cause.
An hour later, he hit the court and posted an 11-point, 12-rebound, 15-assist triple-double … with zero turnovers.
“I wish he was more mentally fatigued in the future,” Brett Brown said with a laugh.
The 21-year-old rookie may be feeling the weight of his first NBA season, but he certainly didn’t show it Monday in the Sixers’ 108-94 win over the Hornets (see observations).
Simmons recorded his third triple-double in the last four games. He exhibited disciplined court vision by finding his teammates with a high level of ease and chemistry that’s been developing over the season (see highlights).
“I was trusting them to knock down shots,” Simmons simply put it. “They make it easy for me.”
Simmons became the first rookie in the NBA to record a triple-double with 15 assists and no turnovers. Only David Robinson and Andre Iguodala had reached a triple-double without an error as rookies.
Simmons considers his assists and turnovers to be the most meaningful stats of the triple-double, noting his turnovers usually are caused by mental errors.
"That’s amazing," Joel Embiid said. "To be able to make the right reads and not turn the ball over, there’s a few guys in the league that can do that ... that just shows you that he can be a great point guard."
The 6-foot-10 point guard is averaging 16.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 7.9 assists and 1.7 steals per game over 34 minutes. With each game that passes, Simmons continues to be linked with the feats of Hall of Famers. From joining in the same company as Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson to moving ahead of Allen Iverson for most 10-assist games by a Sixers rookie, his performances are often tied back to historical markers.
“I think people get caught up in how many points I score every game,” Simmons said. “It’s not about that. It’s a matter of points that we’re getting as a team and how many stops we get …
"People are always going to say I need to do certain things but I know what I’m capable of and I know what I’m really good at.”