Ben Simmons' choice to be a pass-first guard tends to frustrate those who expect him to get more aggressive on the offensive end. Many call for Simmons to get to the basket and even utilize his jump shot more often.
But numbers on a stat sheet don't concern Simmons. Only the Sixers' record matters. On Thursday night, the 76ers faced the undefeated Orlando Magic. From start to finish, the Sixers dominated and came out on top with a 116-92 win.
Three members of the 76ers' starting lineup notched at least 20 points. None of those players were the two-time All-Star, Ben Simmons, who scored just nine points in 24 minutes of action on Thursday night.
One might look at the stat sheet and get concerned about Simmons' lack of scoring -- but Philly's "facilitator" would rather focus on putting his team in the best position to win. And if that means sacrificing points on the stat sheet, then so be it.
"One thing about me is I could have no points, and if we're up 50, then I'm happy," Simmons said on Thursday night after the win over the Magic. "I'm not coming out here trying to have a certain average or score 50, 40, 30 points. I'm coming out here to win. You know, whatever way that is, I'm going to try and do it and get it done. Whether it's defensively and making the right reads [or] offensively getting the team set."
Sixers head coach Doc Rivers specifically noted the importance of Simmons' offensive value outside of the scoring department against the Magic after the game. "Ben Simmons -- [he was] was amazing," Rivers said. "You look at him, he had nine points, and he completely controlled the game for us, getting into the paint and passing to the shooters."
Simmons ended the night with ten total rebounds, two steals, and eight assists to go along with his nine points off of seven shots when the game was all said and done. On a personal level, Simmons was solid. As a team, the 76ers played phenomenal, which is all that matters to the 24-year-old guard in the end.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_