Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid Turn in Solid Performances at 2020 NBA All-Star Game
The brand new and innovative rules added to the 2020 NBA All-Star game turned out to be a success. While many were nervous about how the changes could negatively affect the game, there weren't too many complaints about it by the end of this past weekend's main event.
Team LeBron faced Team Giannis late on Sunday night. Like every year, it was a battle of the best. And two Philadelphia 76ers players were present to represent. For the second season in a row, Sixers' center Joel Embiid, and point guard Ben Simmons were voted in, repping the City of Brotherly Love in Chicago this weekend.
From the media availability to the actual game itself, Embiid and Simmons did an excellent job handling everything. On Saturday, they were faced with some tough questions regarding the state of the Sixers. Considering there have been tons of narratives going around about the two stars being 'jealous' of each other and not being able to coexist on the court, a majority of the questions asked to them surrounded those controversies.
Embiid and Simmons handled it all with class. Not only did they shoot down those assumed issues, but they also teased a dominant stretch to come by the time the Sixers return from the All-Star break this Thursday to face the Brooklyn Nets.
After the media circus came the fun part -- the actual 2020 NBA All-Star Game. Ben Simmons once again represented Team LeBron, going off against his teammate in real life, Joel Embiid. As a starter, Embiid clocked into the game for 29 minutes and shot 8-13 from the field, totaling for 22 points. The Sixers' big man also collected ten rebounds, which helped him notch the double-double.
Unfortunately for Embiid and Team Giannis, it wasn't enough. Simmons' squad ended up taking the victory home with a tight 157-155 victory. Although he came off the bench, Simmons checked in for a team-high of 29 minutes. He shot 8-9 from the field, putting up 17 points. In typical Ben Simmons fashion, he also showed some solid defense picking up five rebounds, two steals, and even a block.
While neither Sixers prospects were able to pick up the MVP honors this year, both Embiid and Simmons had impressive outings, which should make their team proud. Now, the two can return to Philly and have the next few days off before getting back to their regularly scheduled programming as they prepare to make a run for the remainder of the year.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_