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Exclusive: "Philly began to use Ben Simmons at the 3" - NBA insider on Simmons playing like LeBron James during his Miami Heat days, calls his skillset equivalent to LeBron and discusses his new role with Nets

The Brooklyn Nets could use Ben Simmons next season the same way the Miami Heat often used LeBron James.
The Brooklyn Nets could use Ben Simmons next season the same way the Miami Heat often used LeBron James.
Michael Macasero

Ben Simmons seems like the forgotten man amid the hoopla of the Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving drama with the Brooklyn Nets. The Australian star, however, may be the only sure thing that will stay with the Nets next season.

If KD and Irving remain, for at least one year, coach Steve Nash will have an interesting problem to solve. He will have to figure out how to use the former Philadelphia 76ers star in his system.

Appearing on Sportskeeda's exclusive "Inside The Huddle" podcast, "Scoop B" Robinson had an idea of how the Nets could use Simmons:

“I remember talking to Brett Brown in his last season as coach of the 76ers. I noticed how he began to move Ben kind of off the ball and implement Shake Milton as the starting point guard."
"It seemed as though Philly began to use Ben Simmons at the 3 position in the same way that Erik Spoelstra began to transition LeBron off the ball in the Miami system, and (Brown) felt that that was an interesting assessment.
Ben Simmons being active off the ball in a half court setting is so important for the #Sixers. Great cut! https://t.co/06aOIXwV6C

You can watch the full segment with "Scoop B" Robinson here:

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During James' stint with the Heat, Erik Spoelstra often used him as a small forward. Taking his place as the playmaker would either be Mario Chalmers or Norris Cole. At one point, Mike Bibby also did his part when called to do so.

In Philly, Simmons would also often play that role as he is versatile enough to be moved around. Former Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown would put Tobias Harris as the power forward and slide Simmons to the 3.

“Scoop B” discussed the similarities between the 2017-18 Rookie of the Year and the LA Lakers superstar:

“I just think the way Ben Simmons is used, I think he’s a rarity in today’s game. I think the only person in today’s NBA, skill set – not talent-wise, skill set – that I can compare him to at this point is LeBron.
LeBron James provides high praise for Ben Simmons saying Simmons brings the same matchup problems that he brings to the court. https://t.co/QAvoF7jKVa
"I think it’s how you use Ben Simmons. I think using Ben Simmons as a de facto point guard in that situation is going to allow Kyrie Irving to get better open shots and drive to the basket.”

Having a point guard is not entirely new to Irving and Durant. Before James Harden left, “The Beard” ran the show with both KD and Kai playing off of him. Simmons, the guy they traded for Harden, could follow the same blueprint.


Ben Simmons can function for Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant the way Draymond Green plays with Steph Curry

Ben Simmons could handle the same role Draymond Green has with the Golden State Warriors. [Photo: SFGATE]
Ben Simmons could handle the same role Draymond Green has with the Golden State Warriors. [Photo: SFGATE]

The Brooklyn Nets need not look further on how to use Simmons with two great shooters by his side. The defending champion Golden State Warriors have been using it to damaging effect over the last eight years.

The 25-year-old will fit into the Green mold: a defensive ace who can hardly shoot. Both are excellent passers and can see the entire floor because of their height and basketball vision. Brooklyn coach Steve Nash has worked under Steve Kerr before, so he knows exactly how the Green-Curry dynamics work.

He could push for the same system for Simmons when he is on the floor with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.


Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein

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