There was no good reason to expect Nets guard Ben Simmons to play well right away this season. The question was when, or if, he’d eventually start to look like his former multi-talented basketball self. Via the New York Post:
Ben Simmons is getting healthier. And he’s getting better.
Considering the All-Star hadn’t played since June 2021 — beset by a bad back and nerve damage that pundits accused him of faking — it’s predictable that even after rehab would follow rust. And though Simmons isn’t 100 percent yet going into Friday’s tilt versus the Pacers, the last few games are a tantalizing taste of what he can be when he gets there.
Kyrie Irving pointed to confidence, while coach Jacque Vaughn called it the “body piece.” Unsurprisingly, Markieff Morris was more blunt.
“Healthy. Finally got his legs under him. He was off for two years. Y’all won’t even give him a chance. Y’all want to criticize him after every f–king game,” Morris said. “But the guy didn’t play two years. Obviously, y’all wouldn’t know, because none of y’all played in the NBA. He’s got to get his body right. There’s contact every night. Playing 30-plus minutes, it takes time.”
The Nets are 9-10 so far this season. And with Simmons playing well and Kyrie Irving back in action after suspension, the team is worth keeping more of an eye on going forward.