Simmons makes immediate impact as Aussies shine in NBA
BASKETBALL: It was one of the most anticipated debuts in Australian basketball history, as Ben Simmons finally stepped on court for an NBA regular season game.
Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers tragically missed out on the 2016/17 season due to a foot injury in the pre-season.
Yesterday, he showed why he is the bookmakers favourite to take home the Rookie of the Year title, with a strong showing against the highly-favoured Washington Wizards.
The son of NBL champion Dave Simmons finished with 18 points on an economical 7/15 from the field, to go along with 10 rebounds, five assists, two steals and a block.
It wasn't enough to get his side over the line however, as the 76ers narrowly fell to the Wizards 120-115.
In Boston, Australians Matthew Dellavedova and Thon Maker got their season off to a flyer as their Milwaukee Bucks landed a morale-boosting 108-100 road victory over Aron Baynes' Boston Celtics.
Dellavedova had a big impact off the bench, finishing with 15 points, including a clutch three-pointer in the closing stages to ice the game.
Thon Maker started for the Bucks, and had two points and three rebounds. The defeated Baynes had four points and two rebounds in the loss.
Patty Mills and the San Antonio Spurs are a leading contender in the Western Conference, and they started their season with a 107-99 win against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Mills had three points, two rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block during the game.
The Utah Jazz also commenced their season on the right note, coming from behind to take down the Denver Nuggets at home, winning 106-96.
Joe Ingles had a strong game starting at the three, finishing with 11 points (4/6 FG), five rebounds, six assists and two steals.