You’re probably going to hear this question for the next decade, Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram? I’m watching the two face off against one another in a NBA summer league game. Yes I am watching a summer league game on a Saturday night, sue me.
I have always been a BIG Ben Simmons guy hell I was even quoted saying that the LSU Tigers would have a surprise final four appearance, that didn’t go as well as planned. I mean his numbers during his college career are fantastic: 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game. But that does not separate him that much from Ingram. Ingram’s numbers were just as good in college; 17.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.8 blocks per game. In the college game you have to take Ben Simmons, he was playing against boys, but this is a grown man league. Even though I respect the shit out of Ben Simmons when he found out LSU did not make the tournament, kid went and just dropped out of school and hired an agent. But adjusting to the NBA game I don’t think he will do as well, the guy will give you all the flashy passes, rebounds, and highlight dunks but his inability to shoot will kill him in the NBA. In the first quarter of this game, Simmons had the ball behind the three point line and his defender took two steps back and was at the edge of the paint. That’s just a smack in the face, I don’t get how Ben wouldn’t just stay in the gym for hours and just consistently hit a 16-18 footer, hell ill take 45% shooting from 16-18 feet for him, the rest of his game will compliment just the slightest shooting ability and he would be unbelievable. But Simmons was drafted in the worst basketball franchise ever so he will probably die in Philly while he is “trusting the process”. Seriously Philadelphia just make lists and takes names, what the hell happened to Andrew Bynum and Joel Embiid?
I am slowly starting to love the game of Brandon Ingram. He’s a six foot nine, 190 pound guy that can play any position from the two to the four (SG, SF, PF), and he will put on weight while working with the staff of the LA Lakers. I loved watching him at Duke as well, he can run the floor, dribble, pass, shoot, do it all. Him learning from Coach K gives him an advantage as well, he has coached at the Olympics and can give Ingram advice on any and everything. The key factor on why Ingram will be the better pro is because he can shoot, the NBA is a changed game now. There is no guy that is currently a star in the NBA that is a back to the basket type player who can carry a team, its all about shooters nowadays. Look at the Golden State Warriors they won a championship and made a second consecutive finals appearance with the reigning two time MVP, who happens to be the best SHOOTER ever. Once Ingram grows into his body, he will be unstoppable in the league and he already has a jumpshot, which will allow him to work on the other parts of his game without wasting time on trying to build a jumpshot.
I’m a big proponent of the saying “Shooters shoot”, so I’m going to have to go with Brandon Ingram. If Ben Simmons can develop a jumpshot ill give him the nod, but for the time being shooters still shoot. The whole 76ers thing also takes away from Simmons, little did he know when the 76ers won the lottery, he lost it.