Philadelphia 76ers Ben Simmons
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

Ben Simmons is one of the frontrunners for the Rookie of the Year and he’s showcasing that tonight against the New York Knicks.

The Philadelphia 76ers and Ben Simmons are gearing up for a playoff run, while the New York Knicks are trying to drag their feet through the last handful of games this season. If you’re looking for a reason why these teams are at opposite ends of the standings, look no further than Simmons.

The rookie out of LSU sliced and diced his way to six assists in the first eight minutes of the game. He was instrumental in the first quarter in which the Sixers put up 37 points. He’s the type of player who’s capable of controlling a game without needing to shoot the ball. Even without the threat of an outside shot, Simmons is always dangerous on the court.

His length, his handle, his court vision, and his ability to finish around the rim make him so effective on the court. This pass here shows exactly how dangerous he can be. He drives to the paint, attracts the attention of three Knicks defenders, and then drops it off to a cutting Saric. Simmons finished the half with seven points and seven assists while shooting 3-for-3 from the floor. He certainly looks the part of Rookie of the Year.

Despite the defensive struggles the Knicks showed in the first half—yet again—they cut the lead to four at halftime and are in a position to steal a win against the playoff-bound 76ers.

But if they want to do that, they’re going to need to figure out a way to contain Simmons.

Follow Danny Small on TWITTER

NYY

NYM

NYG

NYJ

NYK

BKN

NYR

NYI

NJD

SJU