Legacy refers to the symbolic or material elements that a person leaves to his successors, what a person passes on to others, his students, descendants, relatives, students, and so on. Home, but also ethical values, philosophy of life, traditions and much more. Great players also leave a legacy. Damian Lillard, 32, of the Portland Trail Blazers is no exception.
His dedication to the team is undeniable and the joy he brings to the fans every day, and his teachings can be seen in many basketball players from the NCAA, high school and AAU tournament leagues.
That’s why we have to focus on one of his most outstanding students, who came when Lillard, the master, was away and who will have the chance to continue growing with him in the 2022-23 NBA season.
If you still can’t figure out who he is, his name is none other than Anferny Simons. In his jumping shots from behind the three-point line, in his calm and withering gaze, in his ability to wake up the fans, in his unjustified step to the side – this is perhaps Damian Lillard’s biggest legacy in the 23-year-old.
Don’t sleep on Anferny Simons
Considering the Blazers only had 27 regular season wins, the NBA’s attention wasn’t on the young prodigy, but that shouldn’t be a factor when trying to explain and analyze why the franchise has an interesting project to join Lillard and the older kids in. looking for a place in the playoffs of the 2022-23 season.
His offensive package of full mid- to long-range shooting prowess, growth and movement off the ball is something you don’t see every day and makes him one of the team’s top offensive threats. .
Simons is a great finisher, and according to StatMuse, Simons averaged 22.0 points per game when Lillard was out last season, with an outstanding 41.5% three-point shooting percentage, which is very remarkable for the number of shots he tried to complete. from this zone (4.1). conversions from 9.8 attempts).
Taking after a direct hit, transitioning with the ball in his hands, exploding with his elbows and getting better and better at reading the opponent’s defense, Simons made it clear that he could increase his level of efficiency when he was given more attention. As a result, it becomes harder and harder for his opponents to try to stop him.
That said, Simons showed last season that he can attack under the rim, and his skill set, while limited, has grown over the years. In fact, the BBall index gave him offensive A+ in floats and A- in finishing moves, while he can also deal damage from medium range (A+) and as a playmaker (A-).
His 5.5 assists when Lillard wasn’t on the court reflect this, and his dangerous shooting ability allows him to open up other spaces both when hitting traps and when he needs to outrun circuits and break paint, unloading both the inside and the outside. with good eyesight.
Though now that Lillard is healthy and ready to turn the NBA upside down, he won’t be as useful as in the games he was absent from.
His ability to move off the ball is something that few people can do, and it makes him the perfect scorer/second player hybrid who can turn into Damian and the rest when number zero needs to rest.
When Damian, Jerami Grant and Jusuf Nurkic are pressed, Blazers fans can rest easy. Simons will be open, ready to receive, and the network will make a soft sound like Chuck Berry’s guitar.
Much more than a scorer
With Portland not attracting the attention of many in the NBA, Anferny’s defense was sidelined by their strong offense. This, ladies and gentlemen, is one of the keys that turns this kid into someone with All-Star potential.
His physique doesn’t look impressive to the naked eye, but he does have some remarkable qualities. He is 6’2.25″ but has a wingspan of 6’9.25″ and a length of 7. According to the Crafted NBA, only 64 players in the entire NBA have a better difference in height and wingspan.
He’s not a defensive prodigy, that’s for sure, but his good physical shape bails him out of awkward situations and he gets attacked less and less by opposing teams.
For example, until January 17, 2022, according to the Bball Index, Simons was ranked in the top five in ball carrier screen defense.
Jrue Holiday, Lonzo Ball, Dejont Murray, and Mikal Bridges, four of the NBA’s top defense specialists, were in this group at the time to give you an idea of his true potential.
With Portland having the worst defensive rating last season (116.9) according to the Basketball Reference, having a player like Simons is very important.
Anferny Simons has a contract with Portland until 2026, and the future smiles on him in a growing environment with one of the best teachers anyone like him could ask for.
Anferney Simons, my friends, is the Blazers’ best-kept secret and possibly one of the best-kept secrets in the entire NBA. Remember it, follow it and enjoy it.