Brooklyn Nets: It’s unfair to rely on Ben Simmons to save the season

Philadelphia 76ers Ben Simmons (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)
Philadelphia 76ers Ben Simmons (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports) /

Before even his debut, expectations on Ben Simmons shouldn’t be high this season with the Brooklyn Nets. 

It’s easy to get carried away and get excited about the possibilities that a talent such as Ben Simmons could provide the already top-heavy Brooklyn Nets. However, it would be unfair to expect Simmons to drastically change this team’s ceiling for this season.

So when it’s reported that Simmons is still weeks away from a Nets debut, it should tell you exactly what you need to know – and that’s even if Simmons does play this season, there’s no telling what version of him we’re going to see.

The one return that will drastically change things for Brookly is Kevin Durant’s. If Simmons plays this season, he’ll certainly help the team. But it’s unfair to expect him to be the budding superstar that we saw last year during the regular season. At least not this season.

Still, the Nets are a really good team when Durant is in the lineup (24-12), but they’re far from the overwhelming squad that many expected them to be. Kyrie and Durant have only played in three games together this season. Brooklyn is 2-1 in those games this season.

If you’re expected Brooklyn to be that overwhelming team to walk their way to a championship, that simply isn’t happening. And it would be vastly unfair for Simmons to be the final part of that equation. Especially considering that it’s been nine months since he last played in an NBA game.

Even if he returns this season, there’s no predicting what type of role he’ll have or even what type of impact he could have. His talent is unquestioned but it’s going to take time for Simmons to gel alongside Durant and Kyrie, but time is simply something the Nets don’t have at their disposal.

It’s difficult to gauge what exactly we can expect from the Nets in the postseason, assuming they get there. Their floor-to-ceiling range is an interesting one. Even if they enter the postseason as an 8th seed, they could beat or “upset” the No. 1 seed and no one would really be surprised.

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When healthy, the Nets are a team that can beat anyone. When they’re healthy, they’ve been the favorites to win the championship in each of the last two seasons. The big problem with that is that they’ve rarely been healthy. And it would be fairly unfair for Simmons to change any of that.