Doc Rivers on Ben Simmons, capturing woes, free throws, three-pointers, response, response, season preview, Brooklyn Nets, may be an All-Star, newest information


Ben Simmons has impressed the Nets together with his renewed athleticism and aggressiveness for a lot of the pre-season, however there are some things his outdated coach stated he must see earlier than he’s able to say the previous All-Star is again.

“He’s appeared wholesome,’’ Doc Rivers stated Saturday (all occasions AEDT) of the participant he coached with the 76ers. “That’s the No. 1 factor that Ben needed to be — after which the psychological well being a part of it as nicely.”

With Simmons seemingly feeling good each on and off the court docket, Rivers stated the following step will contain part of his sport that has usually haunted the 6-foot-10 star.

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“For me, the one factor he has to have the ability to do is make free throws,’’ stated Rivers stated, whose three-year tenure as Philadelphia’s head coach ended after final season.

“I by no means apprehensive about his soar shot or any of that stuff as a result of I actually imagine the free throws are the important thing that unlocks all the things for him.”

Simmons has impressed the Nets with his renewed aggressiveness for much of the pre-season, but there are a few things his old coach needs to see before he’s ready to say the former All-Star is back.
Simmons has impressed the Nets together with his renewed aggressiveness for a lot of the pre-season, however there are some things his outdated coach must see earlier than he’s able to say the previous All-Star is again.Supply: FOX SPORTS

And if Simmons does that — he’s 4-for-7 from the road up to now this pre-season — Rivers, now again with ESPN as an NBA broadcaster, believes he can get again to enjoying at a excessive stage.

“Pay attention, I coached Ben for one 12 months, and he had probably the greatest seasons of his profession,’’ Rivers stated of the 2020-21 season, when Simmons was an All-Star for a 3rd straight 12 months.

“I nonetheless suppose Ben, when enjoying proper, has an opportunity to be an All-Star participant.”

However “enjoying proper,” in keeping with Rivers, means various things to totally different individuals in the case of Simmons.

“I feel each coach that has coached him has their model of what we expect, for Ben, is enjoying proper,’’ Rivers stated. “After which, it’s everyone else.”

Rivers, in fact, famously stated after that 2020-21 season that he didn’t know if a group may win a title with Simmons at level guard on account of his offensive limitations.

The Nets nonetheless have to seek out out simply what model they’re getting of the 27-year-old Simmons.

He was sturdy and performed nicely within the group’s first three pre-season video games, however was much less spectacular of their ultimate sport towards the Warmth, with Simmons going 0-for-4 from the sector and scoring simply two factors.

The purpose guard nonetheless managed to contribute seven assists and eight rebounds within the win.

“He’s so bodily and might get to the basket and drive and assault the basket, (alongside) together with his passing capacity, he can actually dominate the sport from that place,’’ Rivers stated.

Rivers then introduced up parallels between Simmons and Magic Johnson, a comparability he has made earlier than.

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“He’s so related, and I hate to place this class on him, (however) he’s so just like Magic in loads of methods, so far as his passing capacity, his dimension,” Rivers stated. “He has nice imaginative and prescient, and with that and him being aggressive in direction of the basket, if he’s wholesome, I feel he has an opportunity to revive himself.”

Simmons informed The Put up’s Brian Lewis this week: “I’m going to be higher than I used to be.”

At this level the Nets, who owe Simmons $77 million over the following two seasons, would take his former talent stage.

If he loses a step, he received’t have the ability to reveal the components of his sport that made him distinctive.

“If he can come again together with his athleticism and velocity and energy, Ben Simmons going downhill is an issue,’’ Rivers stated. “However he needs to be wholesome. He has to have his burst again. And that’s the one factor I’m wondering is that if he can have that. If he can’t have that, then he has to create one other manner of enjoying, and that’s gonna be arduous.”

-This story was initially printed in The New York Put up and reproduced with permission.



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