The 2018 edition is different from last year. Brooklyn Nets The season is starting with less championship hype. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving deciding to run it back.
It’s hard to bet on the Nets after that soulless first-round exit in the last playoffs. But there are some good things. Irving now expected to be fully available and Ben Simmons looking like he’s in great space mentally and emotionally, maybe this season could be the breakthrough the Nets have been waiting for.
“It’s going to be sick, I can’t wait [to play again]. I’m so excited. I’ve got a new number, a new jersey. I’m just looking forward to it. I think we have a special team, and if we get it all together, we’re going to be champions. That’s the end goal. But yeah, I’m excited. It’s New York City. I’m playing with some unbelievable players and a great coaching staff.”
Simmons is the Nets’ largest wildcard in the race to win the Eastern Conference. The former No. The former No. 1 pick has the size to protect Giannis Antetokounmpo’s running mate Joel Embiid. Simmons has the vision to be a playmaker who will help the Nets ease the burden on Durant, Irving.
Simmons will thrive in Brooklyn because of his shooting skills, which can be hidden alongside Durant or Irving, and because he is surrounded by shooters like Joe Harris, Patty Mills, and Seth Curry.
While Simmons is one of the worst shooters in the game (5 of 34 3-point attempts and .597 free-throw percentage in his first four seasons), he’s more than made up for it by being the best at manufacturing three-point shots for others.
Simmons will be a playmaking centre for the Nets, creating mismatches for the rest of their team and providing opportunities.
“I think just like the talent that we have and the type of players that we have, we’re going to be able to run the floor easily. This team is a perfect fit for me and what I bring to the table. I feel like it’s Philly on steroids in terms of what we had when [JJ Reddick] were there, Marco (Belinelli) and Ersan (Ilyasova).”
But while it looks good on paper, many things have to go right for the Nets, from Simmons’ health and mental space to Irving’s availability and Durant’s durability.
The first step is to watch Simmons finally make peace with his past (an acrimonious departure from Philadelphia).
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