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FILM STUDY: The Curious Case of Ben Simmons

Matt Brooks returns with another video film study, this time profiling Ben Simmons.

It’s been an odd start to the Ben Simmons era in Brooklyn.

For starters, he’s missed a ton of time, playing in just 37 of Brooklyn’s 51 total games. He’s currently in the midst of missing the Nets’ last three games with knee soreness, and there’s no real return date for him in sight. All of this comes on the heels of getting an epidural for his back during the offseason.

But his odd season goes deeper than a lack of availability. He’s averaging career lows in points (7.4 per game) and maybe more concerning, rebounds (6.5 per contest) in 2022-23. And since Kevin Durant went down, he’s seen his efficiency as a scorer drop to 45% from the field, and the Nets have been a combined -26 with Simmons on the floor. That said, he’s still a net positive according to basically every single advanced statistic that measures defensive efficiency.

In this video, I took a look at what we’ve seen from Ben in his 37 games, analyzing his limitations as a player while highlighting some reasons for optimism.

But maybe most importantly, I addressed the difficult debacle the Nets may have on their hands with Simmons...

Do they consider trading him now to go all-in on this championship season given that he hasn’t looked himself? Or should Brooklyn rolls things over to next season, hoping that Ben resembles the super athlete of old a year removed from back surgery?

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