Nets’ Ben Simmons knows it will take time to regain form

The first two preseason video games confirmed simply how a lot of a piece in development the 2022-23 Nets are. And not one of the gamers has to make extra development than Ben Simmons.

The three-time All-Star isn’t just adjusting to a brand new workforce and new scheme, but additionally he’s enjoying in video games for the primary time because the 2020-21 playoffs. Simmons has some distance to get again to his outdated self — or even he can’t say precisely how lengthy.

“I don’t know. That’ll just come,” Simmons mentioned. “Obviously, having back surgery and rehabbing, there’s a lot of things that physically I want to do that I’m not doing right now: getting to the rim, getting hit, things like that, and hitting other people. But that’s all going to come. We’ve got time. So in due time, it’ll come.”

Simmons benefited within the preseason opener from the gap created by means of Kyrie Irving’s presence within the preseason opener. Thursday, in a loss to Miami, he had 4 issues, 4 assists and 10 rebounds, however he dedicated six turnovers.

Ben Simmons slams one home during the Nets' preseason defeat to the Heat.
Ben Simmons slams one house all the way through the Nets’ preseason defeat to the Heat.
Corey Sipkin

“I’m extremely excited about Ben, but it’s just not going to happen overnight,” trainer Steve Nash mentioned of Simmons, who has profession averages of 15.9 issues, 8.1 forums and seven.7 assists.

“It’s a new group, new style of play, new roles, new teammates, new offense, new defense. All that stuff takes time. … We’re talking nine days in, two preseason games, he hasn’t played basketball in [a year].”

He hasn’t performed since June 20, 2021, to be precise. He overlooked ultimate season with psychological well being struggles and a herniated disk that required surgical treatment.

Simmons said he wanted to no longer best reduce down his turnovers, however he additionally wishes to be extra competitive. He took simply 3 pictures towards the Heat, no longer just about sufficient for a Nets workforce that was once shorthanded, with Irving, Joe Harris and Seth Curry all out.

“We definitely want Ben to be more aggressive and look to score, especially if we’ve got a small [defender] in the post. You feel like you have an advantage there, him going downhill in transition, all that stuff,” mentioned Kevin Durant, who has skilled coming again after a yearlong layoff himself.

“He’s just finding his rhythm again. He hasn’t played in a long time, and to throw you back up in there with the game going fast, you can play pickup all you want but once you put someone in the game all that stuff goes out the window. So he’s getting his legs, quick move here and he’s figuring it out.”

Ben Simmons
Ben Simmons
Corey Sipkin

The 6-foot-10, 240-pound Simmons had a number of possessions within the paint towards small Heat guards through which he elected to move again out reasonably than use his dimension to put up up. Striking that stability and figuring when to do each and every will be a procedure.

“Looking at the box score, I took three shots, which is definitely not enough,” Simmons mentioned. “Obviously offensively, I want to get to the post more, get some more touches down low, be more aggressive, get to the rim, get to the free throw line, which I didn’t do [Thursday]. There’s a lot of things that we can look at.”

After logging 19 mins Monday within the preseason opener, Simmons performed 25:23 on Thursday. The Nets have preseason video games at Minnesota and Milwaukee prior to the Oct. 19 regular-season opener, however Simmons will most likely nonetheless be adjusting well beyond that.

“He’s going to grow in that respect. He’s going to get more attempts,” Nash mentioned. “Right now clearly it’s a bit clunky for us, particularly we’re lacking some guys who area the ground and put force at the protection.

“Ben will be fine. He’ll improve. He’s going to get better every night, and he’s going to be an engine for us and a big part of what we do, so I’m not worried about him. But it is a process. He hasn’t played for a long time and he’s also assimilating to a new group. That takes time. It’s not going to be perfect, and it probably won’t be any time soon. But if we can keep improving every day that’s all we ask for.”

Leave a Comment