Nineteen minutes, 6 factors, 5 assists and 4 rebounds in a preseason game.
You may say that it’s nothing special. However you can also say that it’s one of the maximum crucial stat strains within the N.B.A. In recent years.
Ben Simmons is back.
After injury, intellectual health issues and disputes with management kept him off the court for more than 450 days, Simmons acceptable up for the Nets on Monday night time in a preseason recreation against his former group, the Philadelphia 76ers, on the Barclays middle in Brooklyn.
“I concept i used to be going to be frightened, however I wasn’t anxious; i used to be excited,” Simmons said after the game. “The handiest manner you study is making errors. I had a few out there this night.”
With the caveat that it was a preseason game, when defense may be lax and the tempo a touch slower, Simmons looked pretty relaxed and fluid on each ends of the ground, drastically making a few satisfactory passes.
And he confirmed off his unusual talent set. As educate Steve Nash put it after the 127-108 Nets loss, the 6-foot-eleven Simmons plays center on protection and point defend on offense.
An Australian, Simmons become the No. 1 normal choose inside the draft in 2016 after his freshman year at L.S.U. After lacking a complete season with a foot injury, he debuted for the 76ers in 2017 and had four powerful seasons with the team, averaging 15 to 17 points a sport and seven to eight assists and playing brilliant defense. He gained the Rookie of the year Award and made 3 All-famous person groups in 4 seasons.
However the 2020-21 season resulted in sadness, when Simmons passed up a reputedly easy dunk possibility late in a decisive playoff loss within the japanese conference semifinals. Both the 76ers’ superstar, Joel Embiid, and their instruct, doc Rivers, expressed frustration with Simmons over the incident.
The play additionally appeared emblematic of Simmons’s progress. Usually high-quality on defense, he by no means appeared to broaden a tremendous shot. In a game wherein three-suggestions have grow to be an increasing number of vital, he has taken simply 34 in his career, making handiest 5.
Over that summer time, Simmons demanded a change. While he returned to the 76ers in October he was kicked out of form after refusing to take part in drills. He did not return to the court for the group that season, saying his absence became due to intellectual fitness reasons.
In February, the 76ers finally traded him to the Nets in a deal that blanketed James Harden going the alternative way. Quickly after, though, he turned into identified with returned troubles and at the same time as there was desire he may want to return for the playoffs, he did now not.
Now Simmons is eventually again on the courtroom and is being counted directly to be a key contributor for the Nets, who were swept by using the Boston Celtics in the first round final season.
“Ben’s playing in a totally specific unit than he’s performed with inside the past, distinctive fashion, so it’s a huge departure for him,” Nash said. “these men haven’t performed collectively, so we’ve were given to undergo this. It’s going to be unpleasant as times, but I idea as the 1/2 wore on we started out to look glimpses of the potential.”