Brooklyn Nets head coach Steve Nash believes Ben Simmons needs more time to adjust to the 2022-23 NBA season. On Wednesday night, the Nets lost 130-108 at home against the New Orleans Pelicans.
Simmons ended his performance with 4 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists in 23 minutes of action. He fouled out early in the fourth quarter. The guard shot 2-of-3 from the field.
According to a few NBA betting sites, the Nets have top-3 odds to win the championship in 2023. Of course, some sportsbooks are showing higher odds for the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics.
Nash on Simmons "I just think he's rusty. The guy hasn't played in over a year. He's still getting used to referees, defense, offense. This is a process for Ben … He's shown obviously glimpses of the player we know he is and can be, but it's not easy. We're here to support him"
— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) October 20, 2022
During the postgame press conference, Nash was asked why Simmons struggled. “I just think he’s rusty. The guy hasn’t played in over a year. He’s still getting used to referees, defense, offense.”
“This is a process for Ben. He’s shown obviously glimpses of the player we know he is and can be, but it’s not easy. We’re here to support him.”
Nets head coach Steve Nash says Ben Simmons is rusty
Following their loss, the three-time All-Star provided his explanation. “It takes time,” explained Simmons. “Having back surgery and being away from the game for a year, there are little things that your mind might tell you to do something, but your body’s not wanting to do that.”
Missing shots and turning the ball over is understandable, but the guard committed six fouls without even playing a full game. The Nets were also without outside shooters Joe Harris and Seth Curry.
Their absence showed. Brooklyn shot 10-of-33 (30.3%) from 3-point range. Meanwhile, the Pelicans finished 12-of-26 (46.2%) shooting from beyond the arc.
Furthermore, Kevin Durant led the Nets in scoring with 32 points in 32 minutes played. He shot 11-of-21 from the floor and 2-of-6 from downtown. Nic Claxton closed out his outing with a double-double, amassing 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Offensively, the Nets underperformed. They were outscored 32-14 in the opening quarter and 40-28 to start the second half. New Orleans outrebounded them 61-39 as well.
Plus, the Nets managed to score only 46 points in the paint. Besides Ben Simmons, guard Kyrie Irving also disappointed Nash. He accumulated 15 points, 2 rebounds, and 5 assists in 34 minutes. Irving missed all six of his 3-point attempts.
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