Ben Simmons’ largest flaw is he both can’t or received’t shoot. Luckily for the Nets, they don’t want him to.
Head coach Steve Nash insisted Simmons does a lot else, he doesn’t care if the uber-versatile All-Star by no means takes a jumper.
“Very distinctive,” Nash stated. “That’s what makes Ben nice. That’s why I don’t care if he ever shoots a bounce shot for the Brooklyn Nets. He’s welcome to, however that’s not what makes him particular and never what we want. He’s an important complement to our group and he’s an unbelievable basketball participant due to his versatility.
“He’s an important screener, terrific imaginative and prescient. Together with his dimension and pace he’s in a position to push the ball in transition and likewise get within the gaps. So an important match for Kevin [Durant] and Ky [Irving] to attempt to make the sport slightly bit simpler for them.”
The Nets haven’t gotten an opportunity to see that but. Simmons was the centerpiece they obtained in return for buying and selling James Harden to the 76ers. Simmons, nonetheless, missed all of final season with mental-health points and a herniated disk that required surgical procedure.
Ben Simmons’ capturing woes received’t be an issue for Steve Nash’s Nets.Noah Ok. Murray-NY Submit.
Now, after being cleared to play pickup video games the previous few weeks, Simmons got here by way of the second day of coaching camp not solely wholesome, but additionally surprisingly match.
“Wonderful. I’m getting used to the up-and-down play, however I really feel nice. It’s good to be right here with the blokes,” Simmons stated.
“I’ve at all times been one of many guys who can get their health up fairly rapidly, so that actually wasn’t a fear for me. It’s the endurance of simply enjoying, [5-on-5] getting up and down. However general I really feel nice.”
The fellows he referred to included Durant and Irving, the 2 largest causes the Nets received’t want Simmons to shoot, and the 2 different members of Brooklyn’s new Massive 3. The earlier that trio can mesh, the extra the victories will pile up.
“I feel they’ll have a sure factor of cohesion out of the gates, as a result of they’re all actually good basketball gamers,” Nash stated. “However hopefully it’s one thing that evolves, they usually can proceed to seek out methods to make one another higher. That’s the wonder: They really match rather well collectively.”
For Simmons, discovering that match will likely be defending and rebounding, and creating open appears to be like on the opposite finish. Durant’s and Irving’s basketball IQ ought to make that simpler.
“You’re enjoying with some nice NBA gamers, among the biggest,” stated Simmons, 26. “For me it’s simply enjoying alongside them, determining the place they need their photographs, how they transfer, totally different spots on the ground the place I must be. It’s simply timing.”
Ben Simmons’ Nets position will probably be centered round rebounding.oah Ok. Murray-NY Submit
One place Simmons will likely be wanted extra is within the paint, be it in a dunker spot or as a play-making roll man. At 6-foot-11, 240 kilos — and “sturdy as hell” in accordance with new Nets teammate Markieff Morris — Simmons goes to play minutes at heart.
“If he’s the lone large, that’s a task we’d undoubtedly play him at,” Nash stated. “However he’s additionally our playmaker and level guard.”
After dropping Harden, one of many NBA’s greatest rebounding guards, including Simmons’ profession 8.1 boards will likely be a boon.
“He helps us for certain defensively, rebounding,” Nash stated. “And never solely the expertise he has, but additionally simply dimension. Total group dimension is one thing we struggled with.”
Simmons ought to be part of Durant and Nic Claxton in giving the Nets three 7-foot wingspans within the beginning lineup.
In 4 wholesome seasons, Simmons spent 8.1, 10.9, 6.5 and seven.6 p.c, respectively, of his defensive possessions at heart, and 6.7, 8.2, 7.5 and seven.2 p.c on offense.
Simmons had 42 factors, 12 assists and 9 rebounds enjoying heart towards the Jazz and Rudy Gobert on Feb. 15, 2021. After he had his greatest playoff outing (31 factors on 11-for-13 capturing, with 9 assists) enjoying heart in a 2019 first-round win over the Nets, anticipate his time there to be extra than simply cameos and gimmicks.
“I’m wanting ahead to it,” Simmons stated. “I’ll play wherever the group wants me to play, no matter helps. I can play 1-to-5. It’s simply a kind of issues the place we’ve got so many alternative skills on this group, you might put me anyplace to assist get factors, get stops, no matter it’s.
“I like enjoying the 5. I don’t thoughts.”