Kenny Smith wants Ben Simmons to emulate Russell Westbrook’s scoring method

Ben Simmons will get even more attention as the Brooklyn Nets try to maintain victory while waiting for Kevin Durant’s return. KD’s absence due to an MCL injury to his right knee created a huge hole in Jacque Vaughn’s attack.

Without KD, the Nets and their fans expect Simmons to gain more than just the 7.5 PPG he’s averaged this season. Kenny Smith, on Inside the NBA, had an interesting suggestion on how the Australian could improve his scoring:

(point 4:50)

“All of you [Simmons] have to do is follow Russell Westbrook because what happens is they’ll turn their backs on you. They withdrew from Russell Westbrook. Russell Westbrook said, ‘Now you know what, you step back for me, I’m not going in there. I will come to you at full speed, using my size.’ That’s what he can do.

“If he watches Russell Westbrook and the role he takes on, he scores the same. He goes into the lane and scores and passes in the same way. If he wants to be a goalscorer, all he has to do is follow Russell Westbrook.


Smith is simplifying things with his suggestion. Ben Simmons and Russell Westbrook may be equally valuable as attacking players, but there is a big difference. The LA Lakers point guard has firm beliefs and is confident in himself.

Simmons, meanwhile, has clearly been without those two since his disastrous campaign against the Atlanta Hawks in the 2021 knockouts. A pivotal moment in Game 7 of that series made the former champion. stars of the Philadelphia 76ers must hunt non-stop.

Philly fans didn’t forgive him for hitting an open slam dunk in the decisive game against little Trae Young.

Ben Simmons is yet to recover from that series of personal injuries. He didn’t make a single hit in the fourth inning from Game 4-7. Philly’s loss isn’t entirely down to the former LSU star, but he’s the biggest reason their attack fell apart.

Since playing for the Brooklyn Nets, his shot confidence has waned. At the beginning of this season, a clip of Kyrie Irving desperately urging Simmons to take a straight shot has spread. The 6’10 point guard didn’t even look at the rim before passing the ball out.

Charles Barkley can’t compare Ben Simmons to Russell Westbrook

Ben Simmons became legally responsible for committing a crime.
Ben Simmons became legally responsible for committing a crime.

Russell Westbrook never lacked confidence or courage. At times, his overconfidence was his downfall.

Betting lover to win this season’s Sixth Man of the Year award is a former MVP and member of the NBA 75th Anniversary team. He’s the triple-double king of the tournament and certainly the first elected Hall of Famer.

Charles Barkley cannot agree with Kenny Smith’s assessment because both are on different levels:

“I don’t want you to compare him to Russell because Russell is a Hall of Famer and he’s one of the greatest players in the NBA. … He is [Simmons] never the same since then [against the Hawks in the playoffs]. He is afraid of being fouled.”

The Nets need this version of Ben Simmons if — heaven forbid — KD misses the stretch.

The Brooklyn Nets don’t care how Ben Simmons can contribute more by scoring. They certainly weren’t content to spend $35.4 million on a player with an average of 7.5 PPG and who barely concealed his utter lack of confidence.

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Edited by Michael Macasero

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