Kevin Durant is the best basketball player in New York City. But, according to NBA analyst Ric Bucher, the Nets are going to need more than just him if they want to make a deep playoff run.
On UNDISPUTED Thursday morning, Bucher make the case for Ben Simmons as the key to Brooklyn's success,
"They need Ben Simmons to go anywhere in the postseason. He needs to be the Ben Simmons that fills all of the gaps that the Brooklyn Nets have. That improves them as a rebounding team. That improves them defensively. That continues to keep the ball moving offensively, and sets up Kyrie and KD.
The Kyrie/KD in combination with the two other players they acquired in the trade should be plenty to get them where they need to go."
Despite his flaws, Simmons is a guy that is expected to have a major impact on the Nets. Over his 4-year career, he has made a name for himself as a premier defender and elite playmaker.
Alongside Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, those talents should prove to be especially useful.
The big question is, when will he return to the court? As reports point to a mysterious back injury, there is optimism he will play before the start of the playoffs.
"He had a flare-up in his back... the back is tricky... there is hope & optimism that at some point, before the regular season's out he's gonna be back on the floor. But in the meantime, he's gonna have to rehab that back."
The Nets welcomed Duraant back on Thursday after a multiple-week-long absence. His return couldn't come soon enough, as the team has lost 3-straight and 7 of their last 10.
No doubt, Ben Simmons' debut will be a similarly welcome sight as the franchise gears up for a hard-fought playoff run.