Simmons reaches all-new NBA heights
AUSSIE superstar Ben Simmons meteoric rise into the NBA stratosphere has continued with his 15th career triple-double moving him into outright second in Philadelphia history.
The Melbourne-born star slapped down the Cleveland Cavaliers in a 128-105 win today, dropping 22 points on 9-15 shooting to go with 14 assists and 11 rebounds.
The gaudy stat-line sent him past Billy Cunningham into second on the list of most triple doubles in franchise history, behind only the legendary Wilt Chamberlain - still a long way ahead with 62.
"I just do what I can offensively and help find guys who are scoring," Simmons said after today's win.
"Numbers are numbers. Obviously, stat-wise, it looks good."
Simmons helped his team past the Cavs as Jimmy Butler chimed in with 19 points, the recent addition to Philly's roster paying tribute to the Aussie's impact.
"Ben is doing what he always does for us, passing the ball," Butler said.
"When he's playing like that, the game is really easy for everybody."
The parallels between Simmons and the great Oscar Robertson also continued, the 22-year-old joining the Hall of Fame as the only two players to record 15 triple doubles through 111 games or less.
As understated as always, Simmons played down the achievement post-game, but was happy to record no turnovers, the first time he'd done that since the third game of the season - when he injured his back and played just eight minutes against Orlando.
"I just like to play the game the right way, find my teammates, if they're open, hit them, if I can get an easy bucket, hit it, just try and play the game the right way," Simmons said.
Big Ben is now tied with Houston Rockets star Chris Paul for seventh-most triple doubles among active NBA players as the Sixers moved to 20-11 on the season.
Who would have thought Aussie point guard Matthew Dellavedova would have been produced one of the most heartwarming stories of the season?
Lost in limbo on the Milwaukee Bucks bench on one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference, the 28-year-old was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers last week.
Now normally a player might be shattered being traded from a championship contender to one of the worst teams in the NBA.
But they probably didn't spend their first three seasons at said club, winning an NBA title and becoming a cult figure in the process.
News of Delly's return to Ohio triggered wild celebrations among Cavs fans and, from MVP chants to huge ovations every time he steps on the floor, the Boomers star has given the city something to cheer, amid a season where they have won just seven of 23 games.
Dellavedova, too, has benefited from the return, scoring more points in his first two games than he did in 12 with the Bucks.
He's played at least 16 minutes in all four games with the Cavs and scored in double digits in each, his best a 15-point outburst - including a trio of first-half threes in a 113-106 win over the New York Knicks last Thursday.
Today, Dellavedova was again in good form, draining a trio of three-pointers against Aussie compatriot Simmons on his way to 13 points and a season-high seven assists in the loss.
It's great to see the Aussie just getting back on the floor. While he would have been happy sacrificing his playing time for the good of the Bucks' title hopes, he's better than a bench warmer.
Cleveland will be happy he's showing that, if they do decide to on-trade his contract to another club, who might think he can help them - even if he is still owed nearly US$10 million next season.
JINGLIN' JOE HUNTING JAZZ RECORDS
Aussie Joe Ingles battled over the past week, reaching double digits just once in the past four games and shooting a horrible 2-11 from the field in an 89-96 loss to the Magic yesterday.
But he did have reason to celebrate when he moved into third place on the all-time Utah three-point list.
Ingles hit a pair of treys in Thursday's 111-84 shellacking of Miami, the first of which was his 541st for the franchise, one better than Bryon Russell.
Ingles already owns the franchise record for three-point makes in a season with the 204 he poured in last campaign and now sits behind only Gordon Hayward (689) and John Stockton (845).
At 31 and with two years left to run on his US$52 million contract, it's not unfathomable he finishes his career as the all-time leader in three-point makes.
Not bad for a bloke the LA Clippers didn't think was good enough for the NBA.
San Antonio star Patrick Mills has been a beacon for Australia's indigenous community as the third player of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent to play for the Boomers.
So it was only natural that he threw his support behind NBL club Illawarra Hawks' indigenous Round.
The Hawks wore a special jersey to acknowledge and celebrate the significance of the indigenous community in Australia, and sent our Patty a special care package.
While he had only three points and four assists in a shock loss to the Chicago Bulls 93-98, Mills wore the Hawks' indigenous jersey with pride.