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Can Ben Simmons Turn It Around?

Ben Simmons is talented, based on the sample size we’ve seen. In this case, he’s a three-time All-Star, two-time All-Defensive, and a Rookie of the Year. Without doubt, there’s still potential for him to be great. It’s important to note that he’ll be 26-years-old in July and he truly can turn it around. However, my biggest problem with the former number one overall pick is that of his focus.  

In reality, the Brooklyn Nets were on the cusp of being eliminated in Game Four versus the Boston Celtics. The guard pulled himself from what was to be his season debut, with sources saying he told team officials that his back felt sore.  

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, everyone around the organization had been given the notion that Simmons had keyed in on Game Four to make his Nets debut. Notwithstanding, Brooklyn was definitely looking for answers because of his incapacity to step on the hardwood in Brooklyn. 

To be clear, would Simmons playing in that game have changed the series outcome? Probably not but it’s about seeing him play again. The last time we saw on a basketball court was for the Philadelphia 76ers’ in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference semifinals last season. In the end, they were defeated by the Atlanta Hawks.  

Simmons and a New Start in Brooklyn

Nets guard Ben Simmons on the bench versus the Boston Celtics in Game Four of NBA playoffs.
Source: ESPN

All things considered, he got the fresh start he needed in Brooklyn as well as not having the pressure to be the number one guy. By the same token, I get that mental health is likely in the mix and I don’t want to sound inconsiderate.

 Here’s the thing: I get his back might not have been 100% but the fact that he pulled himself out at the proverbial 11th hour to play is something different. There were people depending on you to play (e.g.: teammates, general manager Sean Marks). 

In the final analysis, the Nets are on the hook for the next three seasons for $114 million on his current contract. While the Nets have to make adjustments to their roster, Simmons has to adjust to playing basketball again. Hopefully, he can find his way to being the player worthy of that top pick in the 2016 NBA Draft.

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