It has been a long, grueling road back, but it seems as if the Ben Simmons of old is slowly making his way back on the court. A switch seems to have been flicked inside Simmons during the Brooklyn Nets' win against the Portland Trail Blazers last Thursday. Since then, Simmons has averaged 15.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 7.3 assists on an incredible 80 percent shooting from the field, and he's returned to his usual defensive exploits, adding 1.8 steals and 1.5 blocks over the Nets' past four games.
But it may only get better from here for the polarizing 6'10 guard/forward/center.
After the Nets' 112-98 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night where he put up 14 points, six dimes, three steals and two blocks, Ben Simmons told reporters that it's the best he's felt in terms of mobility in recent memory. Simmons memorably took the entire 2021-22 season off, nursing back and knee problems along the way.
“So far this is the best I've felt in terms of moving. Obviously it's a back-to-back too. I think my minutes were supposed to be lower, but I was trying to push myself and I wanted to be out there to help the team win,” Simmons said, via SNY Nets.
Ben Simmons says tonight in Toronto was the best he's felt in terms of mobility:
"It's a back-to-back too. I think my minutes were supposed to be lower, but I was trying to push myself and I wanted to be out there to help the team win" pic.twitter.com/YFzpjebAUu
— Nets Videos (@SNYNets) November 24, 2022
It is indeed a good sign for the Nets that they didn't need to hold out Ben Simmons for precautionary reasons, as the three-time All-Star even ended up playing 32 minutes in both legs of a back-to-back.
Simmons' confidence in his own body has been apparent over the past week. It looks like he's more willing to be more aggressive on both ends of the court as evidenced by the more characteristic stat lines he's been putting up recently. Nevertheless, as Kevin Durant said, the Nets expect Simmons to perform this well anyway, so they won't get too excited about these levels of output from the sixth-year forward out of LSU.
Nets fans hope that this level of play indeed becomes the norm for Ben Simmons as Brooklyn tries to climb the standings after such a controversy-marred start to the season.