B/R: Nets’ Ben Simmons one of the most disappointing stars this season
Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons is regarded as one of the most disappointing stars in the NBA this season, according to a post by Bleacher Report on Saturday. On the list of five players who have disappointed the most this season, Simmons was the second-most disappointing behind Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert and ahead of Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet.
Simmons is one of the most confusing case studies in recent league history. He went from being one of the up-and-coming stars in the NBA, one who has won Rookie of the Year, made the All-Defensive team twice, a three-time All-Star, and has made an All-NBA team, to a guy who has trouble staying healthy and when he plays, has trouble being productive.
So far, Simmons has played 42 of a possible 63 games for the Nets due to various ailments. Most of the games missed were related to his balky back and his troublesome knee. On top of that, when Simmons has been on the court, he hasn’t been that effective. He is averaging just 6.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 6.1 assists per game while shooting 56.6% from the field and 43.9% from the free-throw line. Simmons’ career numbers heading into this season are: 14.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 7.5 assists per game while shooting 56% from the field and 59.1% from the free-throw line.
To make matters worse, when Simmons held out last season during his dispute with the Philadelphia 76ers, it was assumed that Simmons could still play, just that he didn’t want to play for Philadelphia. However, it now looks like Simmons’ confidence is shot, his injuries are starting to catch up with him, or both. For a player getting paid a little over $35 million this season, it stands to reason that Simmons has been a big disappointment thus far. Here’s what B/R has to say about Simmons:
“The fall of Ben Simmons is not something to castigate in jest. It is genuinely, unequivocally depressing.
This is a three-time All-Star, in his age-26 season, not yet three years removed from a deserving All-NBA selection. You don’t rack up those accolades by accident. Simmons was a star—imperfect, sure, but a star all the same.
That emphasis on “was” explains why he doesn’t register as this season’s biggest disappointment. He didn’t play at all last year while focusing on his mental health—a status dispute with the Philadelphia 76ers—and a back injury. Expectations cratered for him between the 2021 playoffs and this season.
Those diminished standards are a mixed bag. Absence has a way of fomenting forgetfulness. Entirely displacing him from a star’s trajectory before this year was a disservice to his previous body of work. It also turned out to be correct.”
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