Portland Trailblazers guard Anfernee Simons has been turning heads this season thus far. The four-year veteran is averaging 22.5 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game through 14 games for Portland.
Simons is one of the best young talents the NBA has to offer. This a statement the Blazers’ assistant coach Scott Brooks agrees with. In a recent interview, Brooks also praised the work that head coach Chauncey Billups has put in to help to develop Simons’s game.
“Simons is one of the best young players in the league. He has an ability to make shots as well as anyone in the league. He is a big time shot maker. Coach Billups has done a great job of developing him,” said Brooks.
Earlier this year, Chauncey Billups shared that Simons exceeded his preseason expectations.
“He’s exceeded [my preseason expectations] to be honest with you,” Billups said. “I didn’t think he’d have this much time where he’s actually carrying our team. None of us thought that we’d be injured the way that we are, so at that time obviously my plan was him being a sixth man, and him making some gains, making some progress. But he’s exceeded what we’d planned on before the season started, so he’s already knocked down that ceiling.”
“He’s still got a ways to g,o in my opinion. He’s got some levels that he can really level up. “We’ve seen him make some great gains this season. We’ll continue to see him get better by way of his work ethic. He asks a lot of questions; he’s thirsty for knowledge. He’s going to continue to chase greatness. I don’t think he’s anywhere close [to his ceiling…]”
NBA draft expert Rafael Barlowe has been really impressed with Simons’ ability to put the ball in the hoop.
” I have just been impressed with his overall development and growth. Three years ago, he was out of their rotation, and I used to come to Mavs games at 5:30 pm, and you would see him working out before the game working on his game. When he had the opportunity, he took advantage of it. So, the sky is the limit, but he is a scorer and a shot-creator,” said Barlowe.
Simons has helped the Blazers to the second-best record in the Western Conference behind the Jazz through 14 games with a 10-6 record.