As the Philadelphia 76ers continue #TheProcess, one can’t help but wonder what their effort would look like had Ben Simmons not fractured his foot in the early stages of training camp. Yes, the 76ers won their 10th game on Sunday, matching their entire win total from last season’s dismal 10-72 campaign; and Joel Embiid has been just as good, if not better, than advertised in his first healthy season. But with their 2016 No. 1 draft pick Simmons running the point, the 76ers might legitimately be competing for a playoff spot in the East.
Fortunately, for both the 76ers and NBA fans in general, it looks like the former LSU star is closer than ever to making his NBA debut. The 76ers embarked on a brief two-game road trip beginning on Friday night against the Boston Celtics, and it was the first time Simmons traveled with the team this season. He took advantage of the road trip to get in several workouts.
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During practice ahead of the team’s game against Boston, Simmons was spotted working on his defensive backpedal, albeit at half speed, and taking a few dribbles before pulling up for a jump shot. Then, as the team went through its pre-game shootaround, Simmons joined them, throwing passes to his teammates and even getting in a few Push-Ups.
Then, before the team took on the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday afternoon, Simmons went through a more extensive workout with his strength and conditioning coach on the floor, from Dumbbell Squats to footwork drills on the baseline.
There’s still no official timetable for Simmons’ return, and there was chatter after he fractured his foot that he might sit out his entire rookie season and simply prepare for next year. But as well as he’s moving, and as much work as he appears to be putting in, Simmons’ NBA debut seems like it could happen sooner rather than later.