» It’s so good to be back on the pitch », enthuses Ben Simmons before receiving a brief hug from his former teammate, Tyrese Maxey. After more than 400 days of absence, the Australian returned to the NBA floors with this first pre-season game in his new Nets jersey and against his former team the 76ers, easy winners at Barcley Center.
« I am happy to be able to tread this floor. I had a lot of fun. I thought I was going to be nervous. But I wasn’t, I was impatient “, Continues the new No. 10 of the New York franchise who, despite his opponent of the evening, deprived of Joel Embiid or James Harden, had the feeling of playing a meeting “ normal « .
Aligned in a five Kevin Durant – Kyrie Irving – Joe Harris – Nic Claxton, the left-hander has shown himself to be true to himself by touching a bit of everything: 6 points (3/6 on shots), 5 assists and 4 rebounds.
“He will love to play, go up the field with us”
Some will remember that he did not attempt a single shot outside the racket or that he missed his two free throw attempts. Others, a beginning of complicity with the two stars of the team, illustrated at the start of the meeting by a good pass on the ground from Kyrie Irving towards his new teammate, who cut in « trailer » in transition.
« I told him at half-time that when you play with high level players, despite what you have heard, we will make things easy for you. And he’s going to love playing, going up the field with us. That he’s there on his first day and that we’re going through it with him is something we’ll remember for the rest of the season, like something we went through. It was a long-awaited first day. I’m glad it turned out that way tonight “, rejoices Kyrie Irving.
“The only way to learn is to make mistakes”
According to Steve Nash, it is important that the three men can evolve together from these preparation matches. » We have to go through it. Guys need time together. Ben plays with a totally different five to what he’s known in the past, a different style. Sometimes it won’t be pretty, but I thought as half time went on we started to see the potential. The way the ball was moving, the way they were going after the ball in defence. I think Ben was pretty good overall and adjusted to the game during half time », Assesses the coach whose team lost… 27 balls.
Ben Simmons relativizes these errors of a first match which do not call into question the potential of the team. This first outing allowed him to see in which areas » Kevin, Ky and Joe want to be served.
» The only way to learn is to make mistakes. I did a few tonight and I can go back and look at the footage and say I know what I did wrong and how to fix it. It’s an apprenticeship for me, so it’s positive. »