Philadelphia 76ers rookie Ben Simmons grabbed 13 rebounds during a victory against the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday, a sign of what’s to come.
For rookies, Simmons is almost unparalleled. He leads all first-year players in points per game, assists per game, rebounds per game, minutes per game and also ranks second in steals per game.
The 6-foot-10 point forward has a unique blend of size and speed for his frame and his hustle is unmatched. Damian Lillard is the only player who has recovered more loose balls this season.
His impact has been immediately noticed in Philadelphia. Last year, only three teams had fewer rebounds per 100 possessions than the Sixers. This season, with his addition and a healthy Joel Embiid, the team has improved its rate to a Top 10 team in total boards.
Simmons has played a pivotal role in this development. His defensive rebound rate (22.3 percent) is currently better than that of big men including Blake Griffin (22.0 percent), Paul Millsap (19.2 percent) and LaMarcus Aldridge (16.7 percent).
According to Cleaning The Glass, only five percent of forwards in the league have a better offensive rebound rate so far this season. He ranks Top 5 in total offensive rebounds among starting forwards, via NBA.com.
It’s a small sample size but Simmons, who recorded 13.5 rebounds per 40 minutes in college, is another undeniably awesome young star in the NBA.