After sitting out 38 straight games with a lower back nerve impingement, Ben Simmons finally made his return to the hardwood for the Brooklyn Nets in a January 29 home bout against the Utah Jazz.
Despite having played just six total games on the year, the former All-Star produced as if he hadn't missed a second of action, as he went on to register a near triple-double of 10 points, 11 assists, and 8 rebounds while shooting a perfect 5-for-5 from the field.
With this, he has now become just the third person in league history to drop 10-plus points, 8-plus rebounds, and 10-plus assists in 20 minutes or fewer.
Though there were several other high-end performances on the night such as Mikal Bridges' 33-point showing and Cam Thomas' 25, it seemed as though Simmons' play served as a major catalyst in Brooklyn's blowout 147-114 win over the Jazz and, during an on-court, post-game interview the point guard shed light on how he was able to produce so effectively after such a long hiatus.
Ben Simmons dishes on ability to shine in Nets return
"Just an instinct. I play with my heart, [that's] how I know how to play the game. For me I just want to find my guys and play the right way."- Ben Simmons
Following this particular interview, Simmons would also state during his post-game press conference that "people don't see the work that goes in behind the scenes," noting that even though he hasn't been able to see in-game action in several months, throughout this period he has been working constantly with the training and medical staff to get his body ready for a return.
Fortunately for the Nets, all that hard work seemingly paid off Monday evening, as he put forth a stellar showing and helped the team get their first string of consecutive wins since late December.
Moving forward, fans should expect to see his efforts not only impact the success rate of Brooklyn but the play of his teammates as well.