At long last, Ben Simmons will suit up for a game with the Brooklyn Nets. Shams Charania of The Athletic is reporting that Simmons is preparing to make his debut in Game 4, barring any setbacks.
Brooklyn Nets three-time All-Star Ben Simmons plans to make his season debut in Game 4 vs. Boston on Monday as long as rehab remains on course, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Simmons is set to play his first game since June 2021.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 21, 2022
It’s better late than never for the Nets, right? The biggest question regarding this Simmons debut is what kind of deficit are the Nets going to be facing in Game 4? They dropped the first two games of this series despite holding second-half leads. The “big three” laid an egg in Game 2 and Kyrie Irving was the only one to show up out of that trio in Game 1.
If the Nets can’t make the proper adjustments as the series shifts back to Brooklyn, Simmons might be a one-and-done player this season. By one-and-done, we mean he will play one game before the Nets bow out of the playoffs.
Simmons certainly can’t hurt the Nets. If he’s healthy and he wants to play, throw him out there. They could use his point-of-attack defense and overall versatility on that end. Whatever he can give them offensively will be a massive bonus.
The counterargument here is that Boston’s defense is predicated on overhelping on Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Simmons’ lack of a jump shot means the Celtics can sag off him in help. Unless he’s finding cutting lanes or posted up in the dunker’s spot, it could muck up the middle of the floor.
At the very least, Simmons should be able to provide the Nets with strong defense on the wing and a few easy transition buckets. The last time Simmons played was in June of 2021. He put up five points, eight rebounds, and 13 assists in a Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
For all the grief Simmons took over the last year (fair and unfair alike), it’s going to be nice to see him back on the court. Even with his limitations, he’s a bonafide All-Star and a top-five defender in the NBA. The Association is better when the best players are on the floor.