Ben Simmons is set to finally be healthy for the upcoming NBA season for the Brooklyn Nets. Brooklyn looking to retool after the failed Big 3 era of James Harden, Kevin Durant, and Kyrie Irving. Although I do not have a lot of optimism for this Nets team heading into the season. I do believe that this team can be a lot of fun. I have a feeling Ben Simmons is going to be a big part of that.
At 27 years old Ben Simmons is now entering his basketball prime. Coming off the worst season of his career, in 42 games he averaged 6.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 6.1 assists per game in 27 minutes per night. All being career lows. Many have regarded the former first-overall pick as a bust, and a “diva” for his exit from the 76ers and his injuries casting a shadow over his last few seasons.
After the Net’s preseason game vs Israel, social media is now calling for the Ben Simmons comeback. Simmons finished with 6 points, 6 Rebounds, and 9 assists. I have no longer looked at Ben Simmons as a 20-point-per-game scorer. Simmon seems to take the Rajon Rondo career route and by all means he’s not a bad player to emulate. Now indeed a 6 foot 8 Rondo would have been the greatest point guard of all time. I see more of a Rondo-type career statistically for Ben Simmons than the Lebron James comparisons that scouts gave Simmons before he was drafted.
Especially with his lack of a jump shot whatsoever, Simmons at his best makes up for that by being amazing at every other aspect of the game. For instance, in his most recent preseason game against the 76ers, he tallied nearly identical numbers with 8 points. 6 rebounds., and 9 assists. Simmon’s peak is being a triple-double threat with great defense. A good Ben Simmons could lead the Nets to being a surprisingly good team this year. I can see a play-in appearance at the absolute lowest if Simmons becomes a key contributor again. Simmons’s defensive versatility can take a burden off of Mikal Bridges and complement the rim protection of Nic Claxton. Bridges, I expect to take another leap on offense as the number 1 option in Brooklyn. Not to mention his passing ability can make for easy shots for the likes of Cam Thomas, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Bridges.
As early as 2021, Simmons anchored at top-2 defense in the NBA. Becoming a Defensive Player of the Year finalist in the process and receiving his third All-Star selection. I believe he has more seasons with that level of production in him. While Brooklyn may not have a lot to be hopeful for right now, it allows Simmons and this Nets team to surprise everyone and rise above expectations.
Road to Redemption
All directions are pointing to Simmons anticipating a resurgence himself, speaking to Christopher Riley of Esquire Australia. “I want to be back where I was. I want to be an All-Star. I want to be better than an All-Star. That’s where I want to be,”. “I never try to live with myself. I’m never like, well, hopefully, maybe I get a couple of votes in an All-Star Game. Nah, if that’s the case, I might as well be fishing.” Simmons has a golden opportunity to live up to number one overall pick status. A motivated Ben Simmons can become the start of a new era in Brooklyn. Simmons’ mind is in the right place, “That’s what I’m excited about because, shit, you can only take so much slander ’til you gotta just turn up on motherfuckers! And that’s the truth of it”.
Although Ben Simmons is coming off the worst season of his career, with a fully health off-season again for him to prepare. I believe in Ben Simmons to play this season with a chip on his shoulder and shake off any doubt that he can be an All-Star caliber contributor once again. More importantly, Ben Simmons can be at the front of the new culture in Brooklyn, becoming the face of the franchise for the next chapter for both of them. Preseason looks promising and his interviews have led Nets fans to be optimistic, it remains to be seen what this season has in store. Nevertheless, look out for Brooklyn this season to be some fun to watch and for Ben Simmons to start his redemption tour.
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