Brooklyn Nets: Star power uncertainty
As the Nets enter their first full season without Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, a lot is riding on how Ben Simmons will look. February will mark two years since the infamous Simmons-James Harden swap, and the Brooklyn guard has yet to live up to the hype.
Simmons dealt with a nagging back injury the past year and a half, but in an interview with Andscape’s Marc Spears, the former All-Star said he’s healthy and ready to dominate again. He has said similar things in the past, so fans will have to wait and see if what Simmons has said is true.
He added he will assume point guard duties in Brooklyn, and if he can get back to the kind of player he was in Philadelphia, the Nets could be a surprise team in the East. It’s still way too early to bank on that, though.
Mikal Bridges averaged 26.1 points in the 27 games he played to end the 2022-23 regular season, and it’s more likely he’ll receive an All-Star nod in 2023-24 than Simmons. He became a star in his own right after being traded from the Suns, and this season could easily be the most impressive of Bridges’ career.
Regardless, the true star power in NYC lies with the Knicks. Brooklyn finished one spot behind New York last year at No. 6, but the Nets will likely be vying for a play-in spot this year. Brooklyn might’ve dominated the rivalry in the past few seasons, but times have changed.