The Portland Trail Blazers started the season as one of the best teams in the league, surprising all of the NBA world that expected the team to be in contention for a high lottery pick.
Since then, the Blazers have come back down to Earth a bit and are now 8th in the West with a 13-11 record.
Not bad, but not as great as they were.
There has been a lot of inconsistency within the team, especially as Damian Lillard‘s absences have affected them.
Anfernee Simons this season:
24.7 PPG (Career High)
3.0 RPG (Career High)
4.5 APG (Career High)
1.0 SPG (Career High)
0.3 BPG (Career High)
89.4 FT% (Career High) pic.twitter.com/H0KepkAUSG
— NBA Muse (@NBAMuse24) December 7, 2022
But one player has stayed stable, strong, and super fun to watch: Anfernee Simons.
Simons, who is now in his fourth season in the league, is having his best year yet.
Simons is averaging 24.7 points per game (a career high), 3 rebounds (another career high), as well as 4.5 assists, 1 steal, and 0.3 blocks, while shooting 89.4% from the free-throw line.
Yes, those are all career highs.
Simmons is now sinking 44.3% of his field goals and 39.7% from the three.
This guy has been a rising star for years now but he is blowing up in some huge, incredible ways in 2022-23.
Simons Showing Strength
The Blazers really do have something special with Simons.
There are numerous people who consider him the future of the league.
Lillard isn’t going to be playing in Portland forever, whether because of a trade or retirement.
The front office is smart to be looking to what will come after Dame Time finally runs out and Simons might just be what’s ahead for the Blazers.
2022-23 has been very kind to Simons: he has filled the void left by CJ McCollum and has actually led the team repeatedly as Lillard sat out.
If he keeps playing like this, Simons just might just win the Most Improved Player of the Year award.