Expectations are sky high for the Nets. It's championship or bust in Brooklyn. After an offseason filled with drama and uncertainty, the players and coaching staff are finally on the same page.
Ben Simmons is closely being monitored by critics and fans. He's expected to be an important part of the team. But a lingering question has to be addressed. How will Ben Simmons fit into the Nets' system?
Simmons usually played the point guard position when he was with the Philadelphia 76ers. He's a tremendous facilitator and has the size to create a ton of mismatches for opposing defenses. Although the Australian has played the power forward position at times, he's still the most effective with the ball in his hands.
Kyrie Irving is also primarily a point guard. Although he's not a traditional floor general, he can create a lot of separation from a defender with his handles. This will lead to his teammates getting a lot of wide open looks and uncontested shots.
During an appearance on 'NBA Today', former NBA champion Kendrick Perkins laid out multiple ways that Simmons could be utilized in Steve Nash's system:
"He’s a guy that needs the ball in his hands, he’s best at being a playmaker. So on the offensive end, he has so many offensive weapons and now he's playing in the open court they're expanding the space where he's able to be the best version of himself,"
"You're looking at one of the best defensive players in the league. A guy that's 6'10, really versatile, could guard 1-5 and could play the center position. So there's multiple ways that you could utilize Ben Simmons when it comes down to this Brooklyn Nets, offense and defense."
Putting Ben Simmons at the center position could open up new possibilities for the Nets
Despite his absence last season, there's no denying Ben Simmons has All-Star level talent. As a big perimeter player, the Nets could experiment this season with him at the center spot.
Interestingly, Brooklyn could use Simmons as a playmaking big surrounded by knockdown shooters. Imagine a lineup of Simmons, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Joe Harris and Seth Curry. Matching up against other bigs on opposing teams won't be a problem for Simmons. He's much quicker and craftier than most guys his size.
Even with all the drama, the Nets' front office was still able to acquire solid role players and improve the team's depth.
Playing center could be a difficult adjustment for Ben Simmons to make. But with the right system and personnel, the Brooklyn Nets could wreak havoc in the Eastern Conference.
The Nets start their season against the New Orleans Pelicans on October 19.