Simmons, Kawhi, Murray, MPJ Returned To Action On Monday

Nets guard Ben Simmons, Clippers ahead Kawhi Leonard, and Nuggets stars Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. all made their preseason debuts on Monday, returning to an NBA courtroom for the primary time in 2022.

Simmons ignored all the 2021/22 season because of a holdout, psychological well being problems, and again issues; Leonard and Murray sat out the season whilst convalescing from ACL tears; and Porter used to be close down because of a again damage closing November after enjoying in simply 9 video games.

In addition to being Simmons’ first sport in 470 days, it used to be additionally the primary time he has suited up for his new staff since being traded from Philadelphia to Brooklyn. Simmons performed 19 mins in opposition to his previous staff, and whilst the Sixers beat the Nets by way of 19 issues, the previous No. 1 general select mentioned he felt “amazing” being again at the courtroom, consistent with Nick Friedell of ESPN.

“I’m grateful just to be able to step on that floor,” Simmons mentioned after scoring six issues and dishing 5 assists in 19 mins. “Step on an NBA floor again. I had a lot of fun out there.”

Leonard, in the meantime, used to be enjoying for the primary time since being injured in the second one spherical of the playoffs in opposition to Utah in June of 2021. He had 11 issues and 4 rebounds in a victory over Portland in Seattle, writes Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. While Leonard stated that he most probably received’t be enjoying 35-plus mins out of the gate this season, he – like Simmons – mentioned he used to be extra excited than fearful to get again at the courtroom.

“It was great,” Leonard mentioned. “Just being able to put all that hard work that I did throughout the, 14, 16 months, just able to put it to (the) test and playing against NBA talent, it was good. Just being out there with the guys and talking, I missed it. It was a great experience for me.”

As for Murray, he referred to as his go back vs. Oklahoma City – his first sport in 539 days – “a lot of fun” and informed journalists that he “felt like a rookie out there” (Twitter hyperlinks by means of Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports and Mike Singer of The Denver Post). He and Porter will want extra time to search out their rhythm, however each avid gamers got here out in their preseason debuts feeling just right, Singer writes in a complete tale for The Denver Post (subscription required).

While Simmons, Leonard, Murray, and Porter made their long-awaited returns on Monday, Pelicans ahead Zion Williamson is poised to take action on Tuesday after lacking all of the 2021/22 season because of a damaged foot. Kevin Durant mentioned after the Nets’ loss on Monday that having these kind of stars wholesome once more is superb information for the NBA.

“Being away for a year, you get a lot of anxiety not playing,” Durant mentioned, consistent with Friedell. “I know I did. Just anxious to see how I’m playing, where I’m going to play, what my role is on the team. But as a fan of the game, Kawhi being back is great for basketball, Jamal Murray being back is great for basketball, all the guys that have been out injured and being able to play again, it’s a great feeling seeing them out there.”

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