Philadelphia 76ers: Ben Simmons strengths will mask Markelle Fultz’s weaknesses

(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

In the Philadelphia 76ers first preseason game both Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz suited up. Was this a look at the future?

While rookie Markelle Fultz struggled in his first action for the Philadelphia 76ers, Ben Simmons looked comfortable. If that happens in the regular season,  Simmons should be able to mask Fultz’s flaws.

Sixers preseason kicked off with a game against the Memphis Grizzlies, and all eyes were on the Sixers youth. Franchise cornerstones Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz were in action, and both endured some rough patches in their first game.

A lopsided loss made many wonder if the duo of number one overall picks is ready to produce in the NBA, but this game has to be taken with a grain of salt.

Markelle Fultz didn’t start his career on the highest note, as he finished the night with 4 points, 3 assists, and 2 rebounds, while shooting 2-13 and 0-3 from three point range. You can’t base an opinion on one preseason game, but Fultz just didn’t bring his A game.

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It’s nothing to worry about, as long term he still looks the part of a superstar, but in the short term he may have to work through some kinks. Fultz can score several different ways, whether it be driving to the lane using his athleticism, or taking a mid-range jumpshot. His shooting abilities may not translate over to the NBA immediately, but it will come in time.

Ben Simmons didn’t have the greatest shooting night either, but he looked a lot more comfortable than Fultz. Fans have been waiting to see the 2016 number one overall pick play for the Sixers, and they finally saw it last night.

Simmons’ effect on the court is noticed even without the ball in his hands, as defenses have to adjust to his style of offense. Bringing the ball up court, Simmons uses his big body to his advantage, making plays most power forwards could only dream of. He ended the night with 6 points, 9 assists, and 7 rebounds on 2-8 shooting (0-3 from three point range), but his gameplay translates beyond the stat sheet.

Long term Markelle Fultz will be the man making plays for the Sixers at the point guard position, but right now Ben Simmons will need to shoulder the offensive load while Fultz develops. With so many weapons on offense, Fultz doesn’t need to be the top option right off the bat.

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Ben Simmons looks like a natural running the point for the Sixers. Eventually Markelle Fultz will take that position, but for now Simmons strengths as a “point forward” masks some of the inefficiencies that Fultz is dealing with to start his NBA career.