Nets' Simmons Targeting Return During First Round


After almost an entire year away from NBA action, it appears we are finally getting a return date for Ben Simmons. Shams Charania of The Athletic reported earlier today that Simmons is targeting a return within games 4-6 of the Nets first round playoff matchup against the Boston Celtics, which are scheduled to take place in just 2 weeks.

Simmons has been dealing with a back injury since last summer, and has yet to suit up for a game since his former 76ers team was eliminated from the playoffs in the Eastern Conference semifinals last April. It's been a painstaking process for both parties, as initial reports suggested that Simmons could be set to return shortly after being traded to Brooklyn in January. Now 3 months later, it finally looks like the three-time All-Star will be making his Nets debut.

It will certainly be interesting to see how Brooklyn will look to integrate Simmons into their style of play, which is heavily centered around superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving shooting the ball at their will. There is no question that if Simmons is utilized properly, he is capable of lifting the Nets to championship-contending status. Considering they allow over 112 points per game, his widely-recognized defensive prowess will give them the ability to severely hamper opponent's best players. Pairing that with his playmaking ability that will allow for Irving and Durant more room to operate, and Simmons can immediately contribute on both ends of the floor. 

Whether or not Simmons will be up to NBA-game speed will be the big question. It's been well documented that he has been practicing with the Nets, but it's challenging for any player to miss an entire year and return in the midst of what is expected to be a very intense playoff series. If he can manage to find his stride quickly, the Nets will be more than capable of giving any team in the playoffs trouble.

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