Film Study: What Ben Simmons Brings to Brooklyn

Ben Simmons was sidelined throughout the entire 2021-22 season.

The Brooklyn Nets somehow escaped the reported trade order From Kevin Durant. They can now see what they have with an improved roster about one of the best offensive players in NBA history.

There is potential for greatness. After the All-Star breaks last season, the Nets won Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Miami, without Joe Harris or Ben Simmons. They were swept away in the first round, but they succeeded Most effective attack (115 points per 100 possessions) in the playoffs against the best defense in the league. And that was with Durant shooting 39% And Keri Irving in the average Only 15.3 points During the last three matches.

Obviously, the defense was a problem. the net Ranked 20th defensively In the regular season, 119.2 points per 100 possessions allowed the Celtics to score in the first round 8.5 more from Boston scored in any other playoff series. One of the primary problems was the lack of volume on the perimeter. five of Top Seven Players In the net playoff round she was 6 feet 4 or shorter. The main defender On Jason Tatum (6 feet – 8) Bruce Brown was 6 feet 4 feet tall the two networks Whoever defended the 6-foot-6 Jaylene Brown the most were Kyrie Irving and Seth Curry (both 6-foot-2).

2022-23 networks could be much larger than the ocean. Irving, Carrie and Patty Mills still have 6-footers around, but 6-foot-6 Harris, 6-foot-11 Simmons (probably) are coming back from their injury issues and Brooklyn has added 6-foot-6 Royce O’Neal 6-foot-8 T J Warren is in the front.

Simmons, of course, is the key. was axis James Harden tradeHe owed $108 million over the next three seasons and was 26 years old. He can provide the nets with much of what they need…if he is ready and able to play.

When Brooklyn Opens before season On October 3 against old Simmons, it will be over 15 months since his last NBA game, having undergone back surgery in the meantime.

Here are some notes, figures, and movies related to the player Simmons was when we last saw him in uniform:


1. DF Plus

With his size, athletic life, and zeal for stopping opposing offenses, Simmons can be a defensive force. The best example of this may be the three robberies (OneAnd the twoAnd the threeHe had in the last 15 seconds of a game against Indiana three years ago, turning a one-point deficit into Winning three points.

In 2020-21, Simmons ranked fifth in the Distractions for each game (3.5) The eighth in deviations per 36 minutes (3.9). And the opponents paid against him 41.7%, and the difference between that and the percentage of expected field goals in those shots was (46.2%). ninth best Of the 312 players who defended at least 300 shots.

He can intimidate opponent ball players when he becomes aggressive…

Ben Simmons steals

he can block jumpers Little guards can’t reach it. And it is good to have someone of this size who distinguishes the rolling man from the weak side …

Ben Simmons skew the weak side

Simmons’ size also allows him to protect every pose on Earth. within The six men he defended the most Two seasons ago, he was key ball players (Malcolm Brogdon and Russell Westbrook) and wingspan and power forward (Pascal Siakam).


2. Isolation and screen navigation

Simmons’ defensive numbers aren’t all great. Over the last two seasons, opponents scored 0.97 points per possession when they singled out against him. She ranked 82nd out of 142 players who defended at least 200 singles during those two years, according to the second spectrum tracker.

If he stays in front of his leg, he is Generally a A threat. But Simmons’ aggressiveness could make him get on the wrong side of the ball…

Kyrie Irving is isolated vs. Ben Simmons

And Simmons’ size can be detrimental to pick-and-roll, as it prevents him from being able to navigate between screens as well as smaller guards…

Ben Simmons caught in the screen


3. Moving and throwing darts

Good defense far outweighs bad, and good defense can also be an attacking boost for a team.

Simmons scored 190 fast-breaking points two seasons ago, which is 23% of his total points. that was third highest rate Among the 233 players who averaged at least 20 minutes per game. (Two of his teammates were also among the top five and the new His colleague was Edmund Sumner highest rate – 31% – out of 312 players averaging at least 15 minutes).

He’s not the most efficient transition scorer. 1.00 Simmons points for each possession in a transition period Only ranked 108 Of the 134 players have had at least 100 transfer ownerships from two seasons ago. But Simmons is more than willing to fuel his team’s transfer game with the pass. He ranked second with 6.8 pass passes per game and third with 2.2 pass passes per 36 minutes in 20-21, according to second-spectrum tracking.

He constantly raised his head, looking forward to getting his teammates Their early crime. When he pushes the ball to the ground, his teammates can take advantage of the defending defense …

Ben Simmons helping move on to Tobias Harris

We think Durant and Irving are the top scorers in the middle of the field, but a few transfer opportunities per game will make them more efficient. Although drifting, the nets are actually led the playoffs In Transition Efficiency (1.31 points per possession) this year.

Whether in transition or in half-offense, Simmons is an elite bystander, with great vision and the strength to shoot darts to the ground with one hand…

Help Ben Simmons through the court on Furkan Korkmaz


4. Spacing issues

After going through, a half-court offense can be a struggle. Simmons only attempted 55 shots (0.5 per 36 minutes) from outside the paint during his last two seasons with the Sixers. After shooting 34% of the free throw streak In the qualifiers ’21, he was clearly afraid of getting wrong by the end of their loss in the semi-finals of their conference to the Atlanta Hawks.

A ranger who can’t (or can’t) shoot, especially when combined with a big guy who’s more effective inside, can present a spacing problem. When he doesn’t have the ball, Simmons are often placed in the block rather than the ocean. Doing so can allow the defender to help out more easily with the paint when a teammate is hit from a dribble or when diving to the edge…

Help John Collins

There was one acquisition in the last Simmons game called Sixer where the Hawks had just Solomon Hill ignore him After passing the ball.

Despite spacing and fitting issues, the Sixers’ core team scored 121.3 points per 100 ownership over 765 total minutes two seasons ago. This included wonderful 142.5 per 100 (332 in 233) in the playoffs before losing Danny Green to an injury.

There are ways to fight the defense that plays the ball player who can’t shoot. Simmons’ size makes him a good checker when delivering the ball, and if the defender is sitting at the back, he can’t compete with the receiver…

Ben Simmons to Seth Carrey

Simmons will have some good DHO partners in Brooklyn. Of the 138 players who have had at least 300 deliveries over the past two seasons, Irving (1.12), Durant (1.10), Carey (1.06) and Harris (1.05) are second, third, eleventh and sixteenth in team points per chance on those plays.

However, even with Curry scoring an effective field goal percentage of 82%hexagram record 102.8 points for every 100 properties They have lost three of their last four matches in the semi-finals of Conference 21. Despite Simmons pass When it looked like he had an undisputed stopping throw, it wasn’t the most damaging game in the whole of Game 7 (that was Matisse Thibault’s fault at the last minute), it was definitely the most memorable one.


5. Simmons in Five

Spacing issues can be mitigated by placing four bowlers around Simmons, and there has been talk of him playing in the center this season. The best offensive lineup for the Nets can be Simmons, Irving, Durant and two of The best four men In the ratio of 3 percentage points (Harris and Carey).

The five Simmons played for just 214 (9%) of 2,279 minutes (regular season + playoffs) in ’20-21*. The Sixers weren’t very good in those minutes, earning 3.8 points per 100 possessions. The biggest difference between those minutes (107.5 goals per 100 possessions) and the minutes Simmons played with a position on the ground (116.0 goals per 100) was on attack.

* These are minutes without Joel Embiid, Dwight Howard, Tony Bradley or Vincent Poirier on the floor. The Mike Scott five could be considered in most of those formations, but he primarily played on the ocean offensively. Basically, these are lineups with Simmons and four bowlers.

Of course, the Sixers’ primary was the Kia MVP candidate at Embiid. Having said that, Grids can put a more efficient centerless quadrant around Simmons than Philly did. The Sixers (other than Simmons) most played in those eccentric formations were Tobias Harris (182 of 214 minutes), Carey (171), Danny Green (162) and Scott (132).

Placing five Archers around Simmons can allow him to attack (the slower defenders) in space…

Ben Simmons engine

…or play plays as a screen selector and man scroll…

Ben Simmons rolls over and kicks to Danny Green

Opponents may turn everything against the Simmons-at-the-Five lineup, but this could allow Durant or Irving to have fun against superior defenders.

We still don’t know what the nets will get from Simmons this season. But it’s certainly fun to imagine the possibilities.

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John Schuhmann is a Senior Statistical Analyst at NBA.com. You can email him here, search Archive it here And the Follow him on Twitter.

The opinions expressed on this page do not necessarily reflect those of the National Basketball Association, its clubs, or Turner Broadcasting.