Nets teammate putting a lot of pressure on Ben Simmons

Ben Simmons holds the keys to the Brooklyn Nets season. Perform at an All-NBA level, and he could lead them to a postseason appearance. Struggle, and it will be an early summer vacation. Simmons hasn’t been at his best since being traded to Brooklyn. His performances during preseason were encouraging, though. 

Veteran guard Spencer Dinwiddie wants to see the All-Star version of Simmons. He understands what the former first overall pick can bring to the roster. Dinwiddie discussed his hopes for his All-Defensive teammate during a recent appearance on the “HoopsHype Podcast.

“If you look at his age, he should be getting ready to start peaking now,” Dinwiddie said. “Then it comes down to health, and you look at who he’s been historically. We need him to be an All-NBA, All-Defensive Team, All-Star-level guy for us to be good. We can’t make any guarantees, but that’s what we need to be a good team.”

Simmons is the most talented player on the Nets. He’s a top-10 defender in the NBA when operating at his best. He’s also one of the best passers and playmakers the league has to offer. Jacques Vaughn will ease his star player into the season. He will also hold him accountable and expect impactful performances. 

After multiple seasons of underperforming, Simmons needs to bounce back. He’s entering his prime years. He can still become one of the best players in his conference. Mikal Bridges would benefit from the open shots Simmons could generate for him. The key to getting the best out of the 6-foot-10 ball-handler is to let him play his game. Don’t ask him to shoot perimeter jumpers. Don’t try to alter his approach to creating offense. Let Simmons be Simmons. 

Trying to change him is what led to his decline. The scrutiny surrounding his shooting didn’t help either. With Brooklyn, Simmons won’t have any pressure on his shoulders. The franchise isn’t expected to compete. Instead, this year is perfectly constructed for the former All-Star to bounce back. 

Dinwiddie’s high expectations are a vote of confidence. Simmons is still an All-Star talent. He can dominate as a two-way star. The only thing holding him back is confidence. With Brooklyn’s current roster, he won’t be short on positivity and encouragement.

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