When the San Antonio Spurs blew out the Golden State Warriors on opening night, ten Spurs players played double-figure minutes. Getting the most minutes after Kawhi Leonard (32) and LaMarcus Aldridge (35) was Jonathan Simmons with 28 minutes on the floor. Simmons responded to coach Gregg Popovich‘s confidence by scoring 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting, while going 3-of-5 from deep. He added four rebounds and three assists. Now here’s the question: who the hell is Jonathan Simmons? And how do the Spurs continually find guys like this?
Simmons, a 6’6″ wingman who obviously spends a lot of time watching Leonard, attended three colleges and went undrafted out of Houston in 2012. He later played in the NBA Development League, where in very Spurs-like fashion he made the NBA D-League All-Defensive third team. He made the Spurs roster last season, and had a few strong games. His previous high was a 19 point performance last year against Dallas. His 20 points against the Warriors marks his career high. Simmons has played in 56 NBA games so far.
And here’s how he dunks: