Ben Simmons to attempt mid-series comeback against Celtics

Ben Simmons to attempt mid-series comeback against Boston Celtics (2)
In this May 5, 2019, file photo, Philadelphia 76ers' Ben Simmons reacts during the second half of Game 4 of the team's second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Toronto Raptors in Philadelphia. Simmons, the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2016, has helped lead the Sixers to the second round of the NBA playoffs two straight seasons after making his debut in 2017. He was the Rookie of the Year that season and an All-Star for the first time last season. Simmons has averaged 16.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and 7.9 assists and signed a $170 million, five-year contract extension in July. But the one knock against Simmons has been his reluctance to shoot long jumpers and 3-pointers. He's 0 for 18 from beyond the arc, so defenses often focus on taking away his ability to drive to the basket and dare him to shoot. He's up for the challenge. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola, File)

According to the most recent reports concerning Brooklyn Nets point guard Ben Simmons, who is currently recovering from a back injury that has stopped him from making his debut with the team, could return to the floor sooner than what was previously thought.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the young Australian will attempt to return to the court for the first time since June 2021 in the middle of a series against the Boston Celtics during the first round of the postseason.

Ben Simmons will try to return in the middle of the series against the Boston Celtics
Brooklyn Nets’ Ben Simmons watches practice before an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Thursday, March 10, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

According to the most recent information on Simmons, he is still not practicing with the rest of the team. However, he is anticipated to begin training later this week, increasing the likelihood that the date scheduled for his return will be set. Specifically, the 25-year-old would make his appearance between the fourth and, if necessary, the sixth game of the first-round playoffs.

For obvious reasons, if the Nets defeat the Celtics in four games, Simmons will play in the first few games of the second round, giving him even more time to work on his rehabilitation. As a representative of the organization, head coach Steve Nash deflected rumours that Ben could return in the first round of the playoffs, but admitted that he has been making more significant progress than in prior weeks.

He’s moving more, he’s shooting, he’s starting to have a little more activity on the court even without teammates around him. So he has definitely shown positive signs; he is improving and showing signs of progress. But as I said before, he hasn’t been running at top speed or playing in front of anyone. So there are still more requirements to be filled before his return.”

Steve Nash, head coach of the Brooklyn Nets, on the progress of Ben Simmons’ recovery.

What can Ben Simmons bring to the Brooklyn Nets?

After defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers during the first leg of the Play-In tournament, advancing to the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference, the Nets will face one of the best defenses in the entire NBA and one of the most successful teams in the second half of the regular season. In this way, Simmons’ return can only be good news for a team that certainly does not have a defense to match Boston, but an offense to make anyone’s life difficult.

The Australian forward’s return would undoubtedly be a huge aid both defensively and as a playmaker. Additionally, due to the availability of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to manage the team’s scoring, it wouldn’t be needed for Simmons to take the shots he once had been expected to take against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Ben Simmons to attempt mid-series comeback against Boston Celtics (2)
In this May 5, 2019, file photo, Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons reacts during the second half of Game 4 of the team’s second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Toronto Raptors in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola, File)

In his final season with the Sixers, Simmons averaged 14.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, 6.9 assists and 1.6 steals through 58 games.

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