3. Force Ben Simmons to score
While it’s easy to mock Simmons for his inability to produce in the playoffs, he remains one of the most unique chess pieces the league has to offer. His ability to carry a team offensively, however, has been the subject of much debate, given the passiveness with which he plays the game.
Simmons is a tremendous rebounder and passer, but he averaged just four shots from the field and 4.8 points per game during four preseason games. Even after all these years and all the criticism that has been thrown his way, Simmons has yet to even consider developing a 3-point shot.
The Toronto Raptors must lock down Ben Simmons.
Simply asking Nurse to slow down Durant and Irving is the definition of something that sounds easier on paper than it is in practice, but every team who faces the Nets will do everything to make Simmons the primary offensive option. Even at his best in Philly, Simmons never became an amazing 1-on-1 scorer.
The New Orleans Pelicans held Simmons in check during the season-opening demolition of Brooklyn, holding the LSU product to just four points on the night. The Raptors need to make sure they produce these Simmons performances, not the efficient triple-doubles.