Apr 10, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons (10) takes warmups prior to the game against the Indiana Pacers at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets now know their 2022 first-round playoff matchup after defeating the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA play-in tournament. The team will take on the Boston Celtics in round one of the NBA Playoffs in what should be one of the most exciting first-round matchups around the league.

There is obviously a ton of star power on both teams, but the Nets may be getting a true x-factor back in three-time All-Star Ben Simmons.

Simmons has not played yet this NBA season, first due to some clear issues with the management of the Philadelphia 76ers, and then dealing with a back injury after being traded, which has hampered him from getting back into basketball shape.

The team ruled him out for the play-in tournament but left the door open for a return in the playoffs should they make it. Now that they have, it appears that Simmons is targeting to return within Games 4-6 of the series against the Celtics, according to NBA insider Shams Charania.

This news has the NBA world speculating how Simmons could fit in with the Nets this far into the season. Some think that it may be a struggle for him to fit in without any prior games and be able to play to his potential.

Others are more optimistic and are just excited to potentially see Simmons back on the court.

It’s important to note that nothing is ever final when it comes to Simmons. We have heard numerous times this season that he was planning on returning at a specific date, and the date just kept getting pushed back.

Despite these reports from multiple sources around the league, both head coach Steve Nash and star forward Kevin Durant said on Thursday that they don’t expect Simmons to be back, or at least aren’t banking on it.

It will be a wait-and-see approach for the Nets on whether or not Simmons will return, but at his best, he can be a huge factor for Brooklyn in what could be a very deep playoff run this postseason.

[Shams Charania, SNY Nets]

About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.