Steve Nash Wants Ben Simmons “To Be The Engine Of This Team,” Praises His Play In Brooklyn

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Is Steve Nash the point guard whisperer? He has quickly developed a good relationship with the Brooklyn Nets’ new point-forward, Ben Simmons. Although Simmons’ first game back after sitting out for some time wasn’t anything to write home about, his second game received much praise from Nash.

The “engine of the Nets,” as described by Steve Nash when talking about Simmons, debuted against the New Orleans Pelicans and had four points, five rebounds, and five assists. It was a lackluster performance. Still, in his second game against the Pelicans, he improved his output by getting six points and snagging ten rebounds along with eight assists and two blocks against the Toronto Raptors. He looked like the all-around distributor Brooklyn had hoped to team up with mega-scorers Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

After that much better performance against Toronto, Nash praised Simmons, saying he was “proud” of the former LSU product, noting that Ben had become more aggressive and managed to bounce back from a timid first game.

“From the jump, he was more aggressive. He got in the paint, every time he gets in the paint, he causes problems. He’s starting to show the player he can be, and I still think he’s got a ways to go, so really proud of him. He shook off the first night, and I thought he was much more aggressive in an important game for us,” Nash said after thee game.

Ben Simmons was traded to the Brooklyn Nets from the Philadelphia 76ers last year and sat out the whole season because of supposed mental health and back issues. Many people counted Simmons out because of that, but after an offseason with Brooklyn and getting himself right, he’s starting to look like that two-way facilitator we once loved in Philly.

Instead of Joel Embiid, he now gets to orchestrate an offense with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. With a few other pieces in the mix, such as marksman Joe Harris and offseason acquisition TJ Warren, this offense looks to take off this year.

While in game one of the young season, Simmons fouled out in just 23 minutes. He stuck around for 32 minutes the next game to see his squad grab their inaugural win of the season.

Simmons has never been a high-volume scorer in the NBA. He has always been a weapon on the floor, on both sides of the ball. Specifically, on offense in transition, he is a top-five player in the fast break, and it is there, Nash told reporters this week, that he wants to utilize him the most on offense.

“Just to be able to put pressure on the defense,” said Nash, “whether it’s throwing the ball and pushing in transition or trying to break the paint every chance he gets in the half court as well.”

But it isn’t just his transitional basketball that Nash hopes Ben brings to this offense.

“He can also (hurt defenses) as a roller, creating off DHOs, pick-and-rolls. So there are multiple ways that he can get in there and create problems. He’s also a willing and excellent screener. There’s plenty of things that he can bring to the table alongside his playmaking and size and athleticism, offensively, that can help us go,” Nash continued. “I think the vision is for him to be the engine of this team on both sides of the ball.”

After his performance against the Raptors, Nash will be all in on making Ben Simmons an instrumental part of his offense and defense.