The Nets have long been considered one of the most dangerous teams in the playoffs with star players Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving leading the way. It now appears that the team could be getting a valuable piece back in the not-so-distant future, one that could really make them a championship-caliber team.
NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Wednesday that three-time All-Star Ben Simmons could return as soon as Game 3 of the series, but a likely return date would be for Game 4.
Game 3 hasn’t been fully ruled out yet, but that would require Simmons to clear more hurdles in a much shorter window of time, sources said.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 20, 2022
Simmons has not played in a game this season, first going through disputes with the Philadelphia 76ers organization prior to being traded, and then suffering from a back injury that has set back his return date multiple times.
This update on Simmons has certainly gotten the NBA world talking, with many excited to see what he could bring to an already dangerous Nets team.
Would be incredible if the Nets can go 2-1 up ahead of game 4. Ben’s return would give the team/crowd crazy energy https://t.co/nuWEtoJiLM
— Sandra Ishimwe (@i_ishimwe) April 20, 2022
Oh man this series getting even more spicier with a Simmons return. Hopefully he can clear the hurdles be available for Game 3, but Game 4 at home would still be good and needed https://t.co/O9eYhXo0EN
— Migi Contreras, S🅿️T (@MigiLoading) April 20, 2022
While some are excited about his possible return, some certainly think he could go through some growing pains, with his new team just throwing him out there for his first game of the year in a playoff setting.
This will be fascinating to see how they integrate Ben Simmons during a really tough playoff series https://t.co/qxnwDoF6Ad
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) April 20, 2022
After not playing since June 2021, he is going to parachute into a series in the 4th game. Okay. . . . https://t.co/MczXDiCG3W
— Tyrone Johnson (@TyJohnsonNews) April 20, 2022
Still kinda feel like I’m gonna need to see this to believe it https://t.co/X1HQr3tmWB
— Connor Finnegan (@ConnorFinnegan) April 20, 2022
It remains to be seen how effective Simmons would even be should he be able to return in this series.
Having players like Durant and Irving pull the majority of the load offensively certainly helps, but Simmons may be a bit rusty playing in his first game of the year in a playoff game. Regardless, his level of passing and defensive skills will likely be a huge bonus for the Nets and could be a true X-factor when it comes to winning in the playoffs.