Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are officially set to return to the franchise this coming season, which means the Brooklyn Nets can finally debut their star studded lineup that features former Defensive Player of the Year finalist Ben Simmons. The All-Star forward was acquired by the Nets at last year’s trade deadline in a deal that sent former league Most Valuable Player James Harden to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Simmons was supposed to make his debut last season. However, a herniated disc in his back held him out of the first round, where the Nets were eliminated by the Boston Celtics. His injury eventually required off-season surgery, but he expects to be ready for training camp in September.
Simmons is 180 degree turn from the player that Harden was for the Nets. Harden was Brooklyn’s offensive guru, and Simmons is a defensive specialist. The one weakness in his game is his lack of a jump shot, something that many people feel has hindered him throughout his career. However, former New Jersey Nets big man Mikki Moore tells Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson of Bally Sports that as Simmons’ game continues to blossom, his jump shot will develop.
“As long as he can control the tempo of the game and help the other four that’s out there with him, that jumper is going to come, you know?” the former Nets big man said.
The latest Nets news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Nets newsletter here!
Ex Nets Big Man Has Advice for Ben Simmons
But even if Simmons never develops a consistent jump shot, it is not something that will stop him from being an effective player. Rajon Rondo and Jason Kidd are just two out of countless guards who have gone on to have successful careers without an offensive perimeter game. Ironically, they are both NBA champions.
Although Moore believes that Simmons will eventually develop his perimeter game, he also thinks he can still be effective without one.
“What I would do was: I would box out my man, let him get the rebound & he’d take off. It’s that simple,” Moore added. “If you do that much, you can easily average a double-figure game.”
Seth Curry Makes Bold Statement About Ben Simmons
Simmons has only been in the league a short time and is already a multi-time All-Star and Defensive Player of the Year finalist. The tools are there for him to be successful; it is just a matter of him putting it all together. Sharpshooter Seth Curry has been Simmons’ teammate in Philadelphia and Brooklyn. Like Moore, Curry doesn’t believe Simmons needs a jump shot to reach his full potential.
I don’t think he needs a jump shot,’’ Curry said to Australian newspaper the Herald Sun, per NetsDaily. “He’s just got to do what he does best – which is defend, rebound, push the ball, make plays for other people and attack the rim. “When you’ve got the size and talent like him, who takes not one but two and sometimes three guys to stop him getting to the rim, that is a lot in itself.’’
Simmons has a lot of pressure on him heading into this season, it will be interesting to see how he handles it all.