Ben Simmons is still struggling to adjust to playing again after missing all of last season. The Nets continue to implore him to be aggressive in looking for his own shot while supporting him through the tough moments, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post.
“Yes. Yeah. That’s a little rust, the confidence not only physically, but with the rhythm of the game, to go to the basket,” head coach Steve Nash said of Simmons attacking the rim. “You can see him trying at times, and that’s great. We want to keep pushing him to try to break through and force the issue, even if he makes mistakes, just so that we can see him be aggressive and start to find a rhythm for doing so. … It’s not easy for him. It’s been a long time, new group and a back surgery. Add it all up and we have to have some patience with him.”
After Simmons passed up what appeared to be an open layup during Wednesday’s loss to the Bucks, a clip went viral of Kyrie Irving telling him to shoot the ball. Irving told reporters after the game what transpired.
“When I passed it to him I felt like he had a layup at the rim,” Irving said, per Nick Friedell of ESPN. “And I looked him eye to eye and I was like, “Shoot it, Ben!” And of course, again, it’s just a clip. It’s a full game that we can look at and dissect, and that’s what I’ll do. This is a big-picture thing. We want Ben to be aggressive every single play, we want him to get an assist every single play, we want him to rebound, we want him to play against the best player, we want him to do all the things we know he’s capable of, but at this time he’s going to have to work himself into his own confidence and feel good about himself.
“I’m not going to say I’m being patient or humble about it, but the reality is that we’re just going to keep having to try this experiment every single night until we get the right recipe.”
Like Nash, Irving stressed patience as Simmons attempts to regain his old form, saying that he’s giving Simmons “positive affirmations,” according to Friedell. Through four games (29.5 MPG), Simmons is averaging 5.3 PPG, 5.8 RPG and 7.5 APG while shooting 45% from the field and 33% from the free throw line.
Here’s more on the Nets:
- Nash was ejected for the first time in his coaching career during the loss to the Bucks, which dropped the Nets to 1-3 on the season, notes Michael Blinn of The New York Post. “I was just standing up for our guys,” Nash told reporters after the game. “I thought Patty (Mills) took a forearm in the throat from Giannis (Antetokounmpo) right in front of the ref and I didn’t think that was fair. I don’t think I was overly demonstrative. I was upset that I got a tech.”
- Hornets head coach Steve Clifford, who was a coaching consultant with the Nets during their disappointing 2021/22 season, recently told reporters that Nash wasn’t to blame for the way things panned out, according to Zach Braziller of The New York Post. “This is where coaches take heat for things that are not their fault. The number one problem last year in Brooklyn was games missed. That’s it,” Clifford said. “I didn’t go to every game, but I watched every game.” As Braziller notes, Kevin Durant missed 27 games last season and Irving missed 53, while Simmons didn’t appear in a game with the Nets in ’21/22 after being acquired from the Sixers.
- Guard Seth Curry is still recovering from offseason ankle surgery but he’s nearing a return. He’s getting 4-on-4 work in with the Nets and practiced with the team’s G League affiliate in Long Island on Thursday (Twitter links via Lewis and Andscape’s Marc J. Spears). However, he won’t play in their road game at Dallas on Thursday night, nor will Joe Harris (ankle rehab) or Markieff Morris (personal reasons), tweets Friedell.
38 thoughts on “Nets Notes: Simmons, Kyrie, Nash, Curry, Harris”
I was big-time on the Brooklyn bandwagon preseason. Those days are done. Ben Simmons is the primary reason why.
Ben is NOT elite defensively. He just put forth effort defensively because he has no ability to score.
Playing Ben at PG is a liability because opposing defenses back off and give him all the room he wants to shoot jump shots that he will not take.
Durant and Kyrie just getting buckets is a formula that has proven to not work.
Steve Nash is worse than Doc Rivers as a coach.
Milwaukee is the clear best team in the East. They don’t even have Middleton right now. Giannis is on another level right now that only Jokic approaches.
Oh yeah I remember you mr.big ben it was all philly’s fault. The nets ripped off the Sixers in the deal, baby ben would lift the nets and become what he never was on philly. No need to remind us you know nothing about the game.
I never blamed Philly for anything related to Ben Simmons, nor has anyone else! Everyone knows that Ben Simmons problem is himself. Period! That has always been the case. The only one who blamed Philly was Ben!
it’s been 4 games… dude needs to get his athleticism and confidence back after not playing for 18 months. they’ll be fine
Yeah, you should see Warriors twitter LOL … everyone is like fire Kerr, trade Wiseman for a 2-2 start. It’s crazy how people have these reactions based on just a week+
It’s pretty hilarious. If a team goes 3-1 or 1-3 for a stretch in the middle of the season no one even notices.
Difference is warriors are a legit threat to still win it all ! Ditto for clippers and their rough start
The nets are a theoretical contender if everything goes right and even then they aren’t any kind of favorites over Celtics or bucks just to get to the ecf
Yeah, these people overreacting after one week are crazy!
On a completely unrelated note: Jalen Brunson for MVP.
@ Very B
He was out for more than a year, and had back surgery in the offseason.
WAY too soon to criticize his defense, he’s far from game shape.
And if Nash is worse than Rivers, how come the Nets are ahead in the standings despite a tougher schedule?
Very easy to criticize Ben Simmons defense. He doesn’t move quick enough laterally to shut down opposing guards. He is too soft inside to match against any “real” bigs.
The “Ben is an elite defender” stuff was started by Ben and his people years ago when he couldn’t score.
Jamal Murray was out longer than Ben Simmons. I don’t hear any “excuses” for Jamal Murray. He looks great moving on the court. Ben right now is just a tall dude dribbling a basketball and making basic passes.
Doc Rivers has at least proven that he can take a roster loaded with talent and bring back a ring. Right now, Doc Rivers biggest problem is trying to appease star players vs. trying to win games. Doc’s coaching has regressed greatly over the past 10 years. Nash coaching ability is absolutely non-existent!
Simmons was voted All-NBA defensive 2 different years. He and his people didn’t get to vote.
Murray got his surgery in April 2021. Simmons in May of this year. So comparing the time away isn’t relevant.
@nba is ok – NBA All-Defensive Team is voted on by like 100 sportswriters and media members. Those guys only watch the teams they cover. They ain’t hardcore watching other teams in the league. They go by narratives they hear. This is why he can get that narrative going, and have it stick.
What “signature” defensive effort does he have to hang his hat on??? A preseason game against Giannis???
In the Playoffs, of Ben Simmons “All-Defensive” year in 2021. Trae Young averaged 29 points and 10.9 assists per game against Ben. If you remember, Ben declared he was gonna guard Trae the rest of the series after Trae torched them in Game 1. Trae torched Ben the rest of the way!
Luka Doncic just dropped 13 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists on Ben in the 1st quarter.
Can Mr. “All-Defense” at least hold guys to their averages???
Trae lit Ben up like a candle! This was “healthy”, 1st Team NBA “All-Defensive” Ben Simmons in the Playoffs!
That’s absurd. 100 media members didn’t watch the 76ers that season? He got all 100 1st place votes, just like Gobert did that season.
Ehhh, I’m pretty sure Doc just previously had better assistants around him WITH a stacked and talented roster…Thibs ran that Boston defense…
He’s never really been a GREAT coach, nor any kind of x’s and o’s savant.
Simmons is not the problem. It’s KD and Kyrie. They are both playing terribly. It’s all 1 on 1 type of plays, no team chemistry, no defense, and no desire to win. They are still good in padding stats though. Very disappointed in KD! :(
Both average over 25 and they are the problem! Yikes. What are you watching. Simmons ,no bench no defense and a overmatched head coach.
KD and Kyrie are getting buckets because Ben cannot shoot and refuses to shoot anyway. Claxton is nothing but a dunk-and-lob scorer. KD and Kyrie have to get buckets right now. Ben, the so-called, “3rd star player”, is bringing nothing to the table.
Ben absolutely looks like himself. This is Playoff Ben in full effect right down to his ability to not make free throws.
That particular play is a more than a little out of proportion. By the time Ben caught the ball there was a Greek Freak between him and the basket, the right thing to do was kick it out. The problem is Simmons is averaging 4.5 fouls per game combined with his reluctance to shoot.
Ben Simmons is the softest NBA ever.
How many other NBAs are there?
At this point, BKN is a team only a 2k’er could love. Identity and culture matter, and they have no semblance of either. All of their stars (including Simmons) have to own that. Not surprisingly, all developed on tanking teams.
Hmmm, I haven’t liked Simmons game previously, but i havent seen him play this season. Do I get to share an expert opinion or is there a requirement to actually watch the player before pontificating ?
The refs are out of control as far as quick techs so far this season (already 42 for the players league-wide, and Idk how many for coaches).
Nash deserved one, OK fine, but no way deserved 2.
You just have to love the irony of Kyrie being the most hard-a** of anyone with Ben Simmons.
4 games is a tiny sample size and … well, I’m not sure if sitting out a year or having a back surgery is the bigger thing to overcome, but both together is definitely a huge challenge
Having said that, posting a -5.6 OBPM in 118 minutes is impressively bad.
But the FT% might be my biggest concern at this point – if Ben pulls a Nick Anderson and becomes a career 25% FT shooter after his meltdown in 2021 then it’s going to be all the more challenging to fit him in offensively
It’s sad that the guy refuses to put in enough work to at least get a somewhat repeatable ft shooting motion.
His misses are often either left or right of center, and that could be fixed with practice.
You can practice all you want, but when the bright lights come on and you get the yips your brain gets in the way of any muscle memory..
It’s similar to a pitcher getting too far into his own head and no longer being able to throw strikes…Rick Ankiel, Tyler Matzek, Mark Wohlers, etc.
Heck, Ben can hit threes in practice, yet he refuses to even attempt them in a game…That is the definition of a mental issue and performance anxiety..
Simmons problem is obviously all in his head. He’s had yes men all round him since his teenage years. It’s gonna be hard to get him to break out of this
Why are all the “yes” men around Ben any different than all the “yes” men around EVERY NBA Top 5 pick, or lottery pick for that matter. Grown Men Groupies.
Everyone has to grow up at some point. You don’t become elite by talking about it. Ben has the size, talent. To be elite in the NBA. But all that goes away after 30. Its up to him.
The only good thing about his yes-men are that he isnt drug or gun running. But clearly none of them are helping him with his game or his head.
If we could post memes I’d be posting Terio at Popeyes.
Dissing Ben after missing a yr. And then dealing with a back injury. Is just childish. If you think you can take a yr off. And come back like its little league. Then you need an NBA refresher.
The whole Nets team is a work in progress. Not a fan of all the disfunction. This team needs a half yr at least. To see the real Nets.
Really ……… where are all the Jalen Haters.
Running the point and making good decisions. Is so underrated today. Best Knick FA signing in a long time.
I don’t think you will find very many. Most NBA fans really like and admire Jalen Brunson and his game.
Most also had him pegged as going to the Knicks and being EXACTLY what they needed to help them become a much better, more complete team. It was blatantly obvious they were missing a floor general and true point guard, and even though it doesn’t always work out perfectly, Brunson seemed like a perfect fit.
Now, what I’m not entirely sure of is if most NBA fans could even guess he would be playing at THIS high of a level so soon with his new teammates.. I’m not sure most fans would have guessed that, no, but most knew he would be really good and really good especially for Thibs and the Knicks..
lmao did you see him airball a freaking layup?
When they get their bench/secondary players healthy like Seth Curry, TJ Warren, Joe Harris, and Markeiff Morris the Nets should be a much improved team overall.
Tonight they lost by 4 points to the Mavs, yet their bench almost got outscored by 30 points…
The Nets should be getting back all four players in the next week or so, give them some time to gel and get their rotations down, amd they should be good to go and make a run. Warren and Curry could be two HUGE pieces to their rotation, if they can both come back healthy, as each are an almost assured easy 25-40 points combined boost that they aren’t getting from their rotation mates currently.
Also, someone who shouldn’t be getting a pass is Royce O’Neal, he DEFINITELY needs to step his game up offensively and defensively..
The challenge is to get Simmons involved offensively and it’s the Coach’s job to figure that out. Why they did not pick up a veteran center baffles me they are guard-happy and too soft.
They probably thought Claxton and Sharpe would be enough with the growth they’ve shown.
Other than those two, idk maybe KD as a smaller 5 or Morris..Hartenstein would have been perfect for the Nets, instead the Knicks got a very solid backup big.