After an offseason filled with rumors, trade requests, and internal strife, the Brooklyn Nets will enter the 2022-23 season with a squad that is essentially intact, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving remaining in place.
After the dust has settled, the Nets will continue forward with their current Big 3 lineup, with Ben Simmons expected to be ready for training camp following back surgery in May.
Simmons’ unusual absence from the Nets last season and the fact that he hasn’t played a competitive basketball game since June 2021, when his Philadelphia 76ers were eliminated from the playoffs by the Atlanta Hawks, have caused many to question his ability to contribute to the Nets’ success. To be crystal clear, a great deal, if not all, of the cynicism poured upon Simmons is genuine and warranted.
Given his injury history and the length of time that has passed since he last played in an NBA game, Simmons is currently one of the most underappreciated players in the league, contrary to the popular belief that he was overrated.
How quickly do we forget!
What have you done for me recently?
‘ Because of today’s NBA, it’s easy to forget that Simmons, at his best, is still one of the most devastating players in the league, and at age 26, he hasn’t even reached his prime.
While it is simple to identify Simmons’s deficiencies on the court. In order to determine whether Simmons should shoot from deep…or shoot at all, we must consider what he does well and, more importantly, how those skills mix with the Nets’ other players.
performs a multitude of actions on the okbet basketball floor. Following the transaction, Nets head coach Steve Nash remarked, “Shooting is not a skill I’m itching to see.”
“He is an outstanding basketball player, even when he is not shooting the ball. Therefore, I do not perceive any communication taking place. If he improves his shooting, that’s fantastic. In addition to being an All-Star basketball player, he has a tremendous ability to influence games with the other things he does. In all honesty, that is not a major concern of mine.”
The 6-foot-10 Swiss army knife is one of the most versatile players in the NBA, and in today’s increasingly positionless style of play, a player like Simmons, who can seamlessly transition from point guard to center, is one of a team’s most valuable assets.
Simmons, a real lineup and matchup chameleon, makes what 99.9% of NBA players can only dream of accomplishing look effortless.
Simmons can sleepwalk to triple-doubles, and as the Nets’ starting point next season, his superb playmaking among so many offensive weapons will make it easy for him to achieve his goals on the court.
- Maintain a strong level of defense.
- Create possibilities for others to score.
The Aussie led the league in passes as a rookie in 2017-18 (74.1), and between his rookie season and his last healthy season, 2020-21, Simmons ranks second for assists leading to 3-pointers with 996, trailing only Russell Westbrook over that span, per PBP Stats. Chris Paul was the other player to surpass 900 assists on three-pointers throughout those four seasons.
Simmons, flanked by Durant, Irving, Seth Curry, Joe Harris, and Patty Mills, has no shortage of dead-eye shooters for him to create for, and the spacing those players will generate opens up additional avenues for him to do what he does best: assault the paint by getting downhill.
Those flaws and shortcomings that always seem to surface at the worst times? In ways that were just not conceivable in Philadelphia, the changing circumstances in Brooklyn may mitigate these worries.
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