For the third straight season, the Allers duo of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid are All-Stars. They are the first Sixers to make the All-Star Game together in three consecutive years from Julius Erving and Moses Malone from the 1982-83 seasons through 1985-86.
Simmons was among the All-Star reserve announced Tuesday night, while Embiid had already been named a no-brainer starter. Reserves have been chosen by the league’s top coaches.
Tobias Harris, who scored an average of 20.6 points, did not shoot 51.3 / 40.3 / 89.4 percent over his first 28 games.
Simmons deserved a place this year despite a very slow start. The 24-year-old’s scoring and efficiency numbers were very successful and his turnaround rose in his early days under new head coach Doc Rivers. Notably, that was Simmons’ first games since undergoing surgery on his left knee in August.
He has been more aggressive than ever recently, and has played excellent two-way basketball.
As of January 31, he averaged 22.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, 7.9 assists and 1.8 steals. Simmons has fired 65.7 percent off the floor during that stretch and has 70.9 percent of his free throw attempts 6.9 per game. Outside of his scoring, Simmons has been instrumental in the Sixers ’offense by establishing three-point shooters. He has supported 115 of the 320 teams that made three (35.9 percent), and his teammates have turned 40.6 percent of their long-range efforts off their passes.
Simmons ’defense has remained at All-Team level, with Russell Westbrook, Pascal Siakam and Damian Lillard among the multifaceted collection of stars he has effectively defended.
For Harris, this was the best case he has ever made for being an All-Star. The Sixers were hoping Harris would return with Rivers of comfort and confidence, and the couple’s results so far in Philadelphia have exceeded expectations. In a season with plenty of players in the mix for the All-Star Game, however, not enough coaches thought he deserved a pick.
With the Sixers ’best record at the Eastern Conference through Sunday, Rivers will coach in the All-Star Game on March 7 in Atlanta, Georgia – even though he admitted that he preferred golf. Team captains Kevin Durant and LeBron James draft their teams from the pool of All-Stars available on March 4th.
Asked Sunday if it would be difficult for Simmons and Harris not to be elected, Rivers said they would. Once given the chance, he has visited the ways in which his stars have influenced winning.
“I think there are a lot of people who deserve to make the All-Star team, but I think a record has to be a factor,” Rivers said. “There is. I think anyone gets numbers on a bad team – someone needs a score. But I think it’s hard to play well on a good team, and it’s a lot harder. I don’t think people give that love enough. We ask players to sacrifice tournament teams, pass the ball, play defense – just do so many other things to contribute to winning, and that always affects the your numbers. Your numbers won’t be as good, but your team will win.
“But nonetheless, fans, the media, every time I hear, they talk about these people on under-.500 teams, and it just takes me away. Tobias would get the same numbers anywhere – and bigger numbers – if he was on a bad team. But what he does is win basketball. I think he and Ben should get more credit for it. ”