A Reevaluation of When Ben Simmons Will Return
Philadelphia 76ers fans have gotten to see a lot of Ben Simmons in the recent weeks, and many fans are getting excited the possibility of him getting back on the court for real sooner, rather than later.
In case you haven’t noticed, Ben Simmons has been traveling with the Philadelphia 76ers on road trips, and has been working out on the floor before games similarly to how Joel Embiid did while he was sitting out the previous two seasons.
Simmons was reported to have been participating in 5-on-0 drills during practice, which is a good sign in his progress, not just for his health, but also for his knowledge of the offense. Many people, including head coach Brett Brown, expect Simmons to be the man running the offense when he does make his return to the court.
He was also seen shooting 3-pointers in the corner, thanks to a video taken by Philadelphia Inquirer beat writer, Keith Pompey.
During the Sixers’ recent stretch of games, winning five of their last six, Simmons has been on the court participating in the team’s warmup drills, and helping gain chemistry with some of his teammates.
Friday night was the icing on the cake for most fans. During pregame warmups, Simmons jumped off one leg and dunked the ball with his right hand. Below is a tweet from Sixers Insider Jessica Camerato, who does a fantastic job covering the team, showing Simmons’ pregame dunk.
Simmons during pregame warmups. pic.twitter.com/ylgaulvFIg
— Jessica Camerato (@JCameratoCSN) January 13, 2017
Now that fans have seen Simmons participate in actual basketball drills on the court, people are hoping that he can make his return by the end of January.
I apologize to anyone that is of that belief, because Simmons will not be making his NBA debut.
What is a realistic date to return?
When last asked about Simmons’ possible return, Brown said that he believed around the All-Star break is realistic to predict when Simmons will be ready to go.
I believe that Brown’s prediction will come true, and I believe Simmons will make his debut on Friday, February 24th against the Washington Wizards at the Wells Fargo Center.
The timing of this game is perfect for Simmons to make his debut. He will be able to receive a very warm welcome from the Philly faithful.
At that point in the season, there would be approximately 25 games left, and with Simmons not playing in any back-to-backs he would likely play in about 20-21 games. That is not bad for a player who suffered a broken bone in his right before the preseason started.
Everyone wants to see Simmons play this season, but being more on the side of caution is more beneficial for the long-term future of this team. Simmons is every bit as important to this team’s future success as Joel Embiid is.
Simmons has the potential to be the player running the team’s offense for the next decade, and the Sixers’ brass knows that. They were patient enough to sit Embiid for two seasons, so they will not hesitate to make sure their No. 1 overall draft pick is fully ready to play.
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