For the second straight year, Joel Embiid has been selected as an All-Star starter. On January 31, we’ll find out if Ben Simmons and/or Jimmy Butler will be joining him. Either way, though, Simmons will be heading to Charlotte.
Simmons To Represent Australia
The Sixers announced on Tuesday that Ben Simmons was selected as a participant in this year’s MTN DEW ICE Rising Stars Challenge. He’ll represent Australia as a part of the World Team. The game will take place at the Spectrum Center as a part of All-Star Weekend in Charlotte on February 15. Tip-off is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. on TNT.
Simmons, 22, is having another stat-stuffing season for the Sixers. In 50 games, he’s averaging 16.7 points, 9.5 points, 8.2 assists and 1.3 steals. Ben is shooting 56.9 percent from the floor and his free-throw percentage is up 12 points from his career-average.
Ben is first in the Eastern Conference in triple-doubles with eight and is behind only Russell Westbrook (17) in the NBA.
Simmons has a talented team around him with teammates that include Luka Doncic, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Lauri Markkanen. Here’s a full list of the rosters for the Rising Stars Challenge:
While Simmons was an obvious choice for the Rising Stars Challenge, Sixers rookie Landry Shamet got snubbed from the game. The former Wichita State product leads all first-year players in three-point percentage (.404), second in three-pointers made (93), third in true shot percentage (60.7) and is fifth in offensive rating (107.2).
Shamet has put together a season that is on par with that of Trae Young and Lonzo Ball, but the bigger names got selected instead. Lonzo isn’t as good of a shooter as Shamet, but is a better passer. As for Young, he’s shooting just 29 percent from beyond.
If someone on the U.S. Team is unable to participate for whatever reason, Shamet should be an easy choice for replacement. Either way, us Sixers fans know that Mini JJ deserves to be there.