Ben Simmons finally set to play as Nets open preseason

Ben Simmons hasn’t performed in an NBA recreation since June 2021. He hasn’t suited up in a Nets uniform since, nicely, ever. That’s lastly anticipated to alter Monday.

Brooklyn performs its preseason opener at Barclays Heart, and Simmons is cleared to go. The truth that it’s in opposition to his former 76ers workforce is simply icing on the cake.

“Barring any setbacks between now and recreation time, we must always have all the fellows which have been taking part accessible,” stated Steve Nash, including of Simmons’ long-delayed Nets debut, “It’s lots of enjoyable for me. I’m such a believer in his recreation. He’s such a dynamic, distinctive participant, does so many issues whereas on the basketball court docket.

“And he’s a terrific complement to our workforce. He makes his teammates higher at each ends. So simply giving him the help and platform to return from the harm after which lengthy layoff, after which permitting him to repeatedly develop with our group. So, it’s very thrilling.”

That layoff lastly stops at 440 days. Simmons hasn’t performed since June 20, 2021, when his 76ers have been eradicated by Atlanta. He missed all of final season, first citing mental-health points and demanding a commerce from the 76ers.

Ben Simmons
Noah Okay. Murray

The Nets acquired him on the February commerce 4Uetc, at the price of James Harden, however Simmons missed the remainder of the season with a herniated disc in his again, ultimately requiring a microdiscectomy in Could.

It’s taken a complete offseason of labor to get Simmons so far. However after having performed pickup together with his teammates for the previous few weeks and gone by means of every week of coaching camp, Simmons is lastly able to make his Nets debut, albeit within the preseason.

The sport gained’t rely within the standings, however with such a protracted street again, don’t suppose it gained’t really feel good for Simmons.

“Fairly positive I’m good to go,” Simmons stated this previous week. “[It feels] superb. I’m getting used to the up and down play, however I really feel nice. It’s good to be right here with you guys.”

It’s unclear what number of minutes will play in Monday’s debut, however Simmons’ conditioning has been spectacular contemplating how a lot time he’s missed.

“Naturally I’ve at all times been one of many guys who can get their health up fairly rapidly, so that basically wasn’t a fear for me,” Simmons stated. “It’s the endurance of simply enjoying five-on-five, getting hit up and down. However general, I really feel nice.”

Nash likened this Nets squad to “a first-year workforce,” doubtless not what Brooklyn followers will wish to hear. Nevertheless it’s going to be a wholly different-looking bunch than the Huge Three group with Harden that performed little protection and easily appeared to outscore each opponent.

Simmons can’t or doesn’t shoot, however he’ll push the tempo, and few if any are pretty much as good at creating 3-point appears for others. With Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Joe Harris and Seth Curry (who got here with him in final season’s commerce), there are many shooters for Simmons to search out.

Ben Simmons solutions questions from the media.
Noah Okay. Murray

Simmons created 996 3-pointers from 2017-18 by means of 2020-21, second within the league to Russell Westbrook’s 1,057 in keeping with the Elias Sports activities Bureau.

“It’s going to be nice,” stated Curry, recovering from surgical procedure himself. “We’ve received guys who can create 3-point pictures for themselves, however while you received guys in KD and Ben that may create standstill pictures for guys, the odds are simply going to go up. It’s simply simpler to do. Ben is a component to this workforce that we didn’t have. I don’t suppose anyone on this workforce can do what he does on a nightly foundation.

“All of the completely different talent guys we now have on the ground on their very own, getting guys open pictures, goes to assist the offense go to a different degree and convey one other component. That and likewise he’s going to assist push the tempo and get not solely straightforward 3s however layups in transition. It’s enjoyable to observe him observe, and it’s going to be even higher as soon as I get on the market.”

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