While it may not show up in the box score every night, Ben Simmons has been a top contributor to the Philadelphia 76ers' success this season. His impact on all facets of the game has been a driving force for the Sixers on both ends.
This became most apparent when Simmons missed four games battling what was reportedly the flu. During that absence, the Sixers struggled to fill the void he left behind.
Upon making his return, Simmons looked recharged and refocused. It didn't take long for him to show what this team misses when he is out.
After the first of two blowout victories over the Atlanta Hawks, Doc Rivers spoke about the dynamic Simmons adds to the Sixers.
"You can see what he does for our team. I mean, he's a one-man fast break. If you're not set and back, he's going to get to the basket, and if not, he's drawing people in, and we're getting threes. We clearly missed that in those games he was out. You can clearly see the value of Ben," said Rivers.
Joel Embiid also chimed in Simmons' impact throughout the game. Saying that when he doesn't play, the team misses his ability to run the offense.
"When he doesn't play, that's what we miss the most, just getting the ball up the court and pushing it. He might have an open lane, and sometimes he might not have it. But just that makes the defense collapse, and he's finding shooters, and guys are making shots," Embiid said.
Rivers has said multiple times throughout the year that Simmons affects winning. Sunday's win over the San Antonio Spurs would be an indicator of that.
While Simmons struggled to score the ball for most of the game, he found other ways to contribute. This led to him drawing two charges in overtime and tipping in the game-winner in the final seconds.
After the game, Rivers said Simmons' drawn charges were the two biggest plays of the night in his eyes.
Not many teams have a player that can impact every area of a game on a nightly basis as Simmons can. His Swiss Army knife skill set, and the attention he draws on the court, are a catalyst to the Sixers' top-level play.
Kevin McCormick covers the Philadelphia 76ers for South Jersey's 97.3 ESPN and Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @KevinMcCNBA.