Adding one perimeter marksman, along with good health for [Jeremy] Lin, might offset the loss of [Brook] Lopez’s shooting. Lopez dragged opposing rim protectors far away, unclogging the lane for Brooklyn’s slashers. His drift outside freed [Nets Head Coach Kenny] Atkinson to try Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, a total non-shooter, as a small-ball power forward, and even use him as a pick-and-roll screener as Lopez chilled in the corner.
The alignment worked. Hollis-Jefferson is long-armed and feisty enough to bang with bigs. The Nets tightened their defense after the All-Star break, and outscored opponents with Lin, [Caris] LeVert, Hollis-Jefferson and Lopez on the floor together.
Hollis-Jefferson will open camp as the starting power forward, Atkinson said, with Mozgov presumably in Lopez’s spot. Spacing will be tight. Trevor Booker is honing his 3, but we’ve seen that movie before.
Carroll can supply shooting at power forward; if he plays well, he could usurp Hollis-Jefferson’s starting spot.
Source: Zach Lowe of ESPN
Agent: Gordon Hayward Likely Out Rest of Season Following Surgery, Expected to Make Full Recovery
Celtics All-Star forward Gordon Hayward is unlikely to return during the 2017-18 season, his agent, Mark Bartelstein, told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Hayward underwent surgery to repair a dislocated left ankle and a fractured tibia in Boston on Wednesday night, a procedure that Bartelstein labeled a success.
“We expect him to make a full recovery and return to his All-Star form,” Bartelstein said.
Ben Simmons on NBA Debut: ‘It felt like I was playing 2K’
Ben Simmons finally made his long-awaited NBA regular-season debut against the Wizards in Washington on Wednesday night. And after his extended wait to wear the Philadelphia 76ers jersey in a meaningful game, he said he felt initially like he was in a video game.
“It felt like I was playing 2K, honestly,” Simmons said postgame.
“Just looking at Joel Embiid out there with the lights on his jersey. I was like, ‘man, I’m actually here.'”
Simmons was drafted with the first overall pick by the Sixers in the 2016 draft, but he missed the entire 2016-17 season while recovering from foot surgery to repair a Jones fracture. He suffered the injury on Sept. 30, 2016, less than a month before the start of the regular season. The Australian was originally expected to miss three months, but was eventually ruled out for the entire season.
Source: Nick Metallinos of ESPN