Ben Simmons has not performed basketball throughout the 2021-2022 NBA season. Simmons infamously struggled within the Philadelphia 76ers’ second spherical playoff loss to the Atlanta Hawks final 12 months, and then requested a commerce within the offseason. The Sixers refused to commerce their All-Star ahead for something lower than a famous person, and Simmons responding by holding out of coaching camp by citing psychological well being points. Philly finally bought its want on the commerce deadline when James Harden pressured his means out of Brooklyn, however we nonetheless haven’t seen Simmons within the Nets uniform.
Simmons’ season debut is outwardly going to occur in center of the NBA playoffs. Simmons is planning to return between Recreation 4 and Recreation 6 because the No. 7 seed Nets put together to tackle the No. 2 seed Boston Celtics, in keeping with NBA insider Shams Charania.
Nets management says it isn’t relying on Simmons to return. Head coach Steve Nash mentioned “There’s an opportunity Ben comes again; there’s an opportunity he doesn’t come again.” In the meantime, Kevin Durant instructed reporters he’s not anticipating Simmons to play as a result of he doesn’t wish to put any strain on him.
Simmons has been battling a again harm since he was traded to Brooklyn. The thought of Simmons enjoying his first sport in 10 months with the Nets probably dealing with elimination looks as if an awfully sticky state of affairs. Listed below are a couple of the reason why a Simmons return looks like a dicey scenario for each himself and the Nets.
Simmons hasn’t began enjoying 5-on-5 but
Hours earlier than Charania reported Simmons’ focused return date, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst mentioned there was optimism the 25-year-old ahead may play within the playoffs. On the similar time, Windhorst mentioned Simmons has not began enjoying five-on-five but. That looks as if a difficulty.
Brian Windhorst says the hope is for Ben Simmons to ramp as much as enjoying 5 on 5 by the tip of the week.
“I’ve heard nothing however pessimism on Simmons for the final 7 weeks however that has modified dramatically in the previous few days.” pic.twitter.com/Q3FglsBpPS
— Erik Slater (@erikslaterNR) April 14, 2022
Ben Simmons could be becoming a member of a model new workforce on the most intense time
What’s harder than making your season debut within the NBA playoffs after being out for 10 months? Let’s go together with this: making your season debut within the NBA playoffs for a model new workforce after being out for 10 months.
We noticed the New Orleans Pelicans resolve to maintain Zion Williamson on the sidelines regardless that he’s doing 360 dunks pregame as a result of they don’t wish to break the circulate and continuity of the workforce that pressured its means into the play-in match. The thought of Simmons’ match with these Nets is equally conceptual at this level.
It’s simple to see Brooklyn’s shaky protection and suppose inserting Simmons into the lineup would assistance on that finish of the ground. At his peak, he’s top-of-the-line defenders within the league, so, certain. However playoff basketball additionally requires all 5 guys to be in sync on each ends of the ground, and Simmons actually hasn’t performed a second along with his new teammates but. The truth that he may debut in a possible elimination sport or a detailed sequence is even scarier.
Ben Simmons simply famously struggled within the playoffs
Final time we noticed Simmons on an NBA ground, he refused to even try a large open dunk in Recreation 7 of the Sixers’ loss to the Hawks. Now he’s apparently planning to make his return on the identical stage that ruined his confidence.
It’s price noting that Simmons was wonderful within the first spherical of the playoffs in opposition to the Washington Wizards final 12 months earlier than his catastrophe of a sequence in opposition to the Hawks. Whereas Simmons was out for the 2020 playoffs within the bubble, the identical factor occurred within the 2019 playoffs beneath much less dramatic circumstances: Simmons was superb within the earlier rounds of the playoffs earlier than struggling a bit in opposition to the Raptors in a sequence Philly misplaced.
One purpose why Ben Simmons’ playoff return may work ….
Ben Simmons is actually good at NBA basketball! Some individuals have forgotten that after a 12 months off.
Simmons was named an All-Star thrice in 4 seasons. He was second in Defensive Participant of the Yr voting simply final season. He’s a wonderful and versatile defender who may add worth offensively along with his capacity to push the ball in transition and make sharp passing reads. After all, he can also’t shoot threes (in any respect) or free throws (confidently).
However a workforce with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant? Possibly simply grabbing some rebounds, defending on- or off-ball, and hitting some open passing home windows is sufficient to make an influence. It’s not like Brooklyn wants Simmons for scoring.
It nonetheless looks as if an excessive amount of to ask of Simmons for him to return within the playoffs. For his half, he appears to be hinting that he’s able to get going.
After all, Simmons additionally seems like he’s spent far more time enjoying video video games than he has enjoying basketball recently.
Provided that the Nets are the underdogs to Boston on this sequence both means, perhaps Brooklyn wants all of the expertise on the ground it might probably get. We all the time favored the conceptual match of Simmons on the Nets. It simply looks as if a nasty concept to do it at this level within the season.