schedule, Ben Simmons return, harm, Brooklyn Nets

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It can take much more than a pair of preseason video games to show that Ben Simmons is again to his previous type.

That received’t come till he performs in the identical approach throughout the common season.

And even then, together with his harm historical past, it’s arduous to know simply how a lot the Nets can depend on the 27-year-old.

However Simmons, the primary general choose within the 2016 draft due to his distinctive mixture of measurement and athleticism, has actually given the Nets cause to hope that he simply may be capable of carry out like an All-Star once more this season.

After a promising outing within the workforce’s first preseason recreation in opposition to the Lakers, Simmons adopted up with an identical displaying Thursday evening at Barclays Middle, albeit whereas dealing with knowledgeable workforce from Israel, with a couple of fringe NBA gamers filling out the roster.

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Nonetheless, there was no denying Simmons’ quickness, in addition to his deft contact on passes — and even some strong type on mid-range jumpers.

For a Nets workforce that has Simmons beneath contract for an additional two years and $77 million, there’s trigger for optimism — together with from Simmons himself.

“I’m nonetheless quick, I nonetheless soar excessive [and] I’m nonetheless robust,” Simmons mentioned after the sport, relating to the components of his recreation that he has regained after coping with knee and again points final season.

“I’ve needed to adapt to the sport, however I feel my [basketball] IQ and the best way I play the sport, I’m in a position to have an effect on the sport in a number of methods, [even] with out the athleticism that, on the finish of the day, I bought again,” Simmons mentioned.

“I seemed OK [on the court]. I’m getting higher.”

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Ben Simmons has impressed. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Ben Simmons has impressed. (Picture by Mike Stobe/Getty Photos)Supply: Getty Photos

Whether or not he can get again to being a menace who can rating 16 factors per recreation, seize eight rebounds and add assists every recreation — in addition to some steals — can be a matter of how wholesome Simmons can keep.

Simmons and head coach Jacque Vaughn mentioned their communication has been robust about how a lot work he is ready to stand up to.

For now, Simmons is having fun with the truth that he’s enjoying like he’s able to once more.

“It’s superb,” Simmons mentioned. “It feels actually good. I’m probably not one to speak an excessive amount of to the media when it’s not wanted, so it’s enjoyable to simply come out right here, play my recreation and let everybody else do the speaking.”

Like Mikal Bridges, as an example, who famous one other approach Simmons impacts the sport when he’s on the ground.

“Simply the power [he brings],” Bridges mentioned.

“It makes our workforce simply approach a lot better and to have him on the market, joyful that he’s wholesome. … We want him on the market. It’s simply how our workforce was constructed and the way good a participant he’s, we want that and it’s going to raise us extra.”

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And Royce O’Neale, who mentioned: “Simply to see him again on the market, being himself, being wholesome, that’s an enormous blessing. The best way he leads our workforce, being the purpose guard, initially discovering guys open, being aggressive, it’s a studying course of for him and him constructing again his confidence.”

That confidence was obvious on Thursday and can be examined once more Monday, when the Nets play their subsequent preseason recreation, this time in opposition to Simmons’ previous workforce, the 76ers, in Brooklyn.

Simmons was a three-time All-Star in Philadelphia earlier than he was swapped for James Harden in February 2022.

Loads of questions proceed to encompass each mercurial stars, with Harden’s searching for a commerce from the Sixers, and the highlight can be on every of them Monday.

This text was first printed on The New York Submitand was reproduced with permission.



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