Heat @ Nets (Preseason)10/06/22

Preseason Game 2 takeaway: Ben Simmons still trying to find his rhythm.

Head coach Steve Nash said after Thursday nights loss to the Miami (109-90) @ the Barclay Center.It can look “ugly” at times with his new players learning how to play with each other. It was “ugly” against the Heat Thursday night. Similar to what we have been seeing from the Nets the offense relied heavily on Kevin Durant and the team lacked a sense of continuity. Durant lead all scorers with 22pts 4rebs and 1ast in 26mins of play. When asked after the game what he liked from his teams effort...

“I didn’t like anything, to be honest. I like that we came out of the game healthy,” Durant said. “Every game, you’re going to have good spurts and bad spurts. You’re going to have runs. As long as you play good or bad, just consistency. We want to keep building on that and keep getting better at that. We had some good stretches and some bad stretches. I think that’s a part of the preseason.”

Joe Harris & Kyrie sit out.

Joe Harris sat out the game as the Nets want to be conservative in his recovery and rehab following two ankle surgeries. Kyrie Irving who welcomed his second child on Wednesday was also rested. Both were at the game as was Seth Curry who is also recovering from ankle surgery. Steve Nash has said they hope to bring Curry back by the Nets fourth and last preseason game vs. the Timberwolves. The three are the team’s best 3-point shooters by percentage and with the Nets shooting 17.9 percent from deep, 5-of-28, tonight, they were sorely missed.

Ben Simmons still trying to find himself.

  Simmons put up 4pts 10 rebs and 4 ast in 25 mins of play. Normally for a preseason game that is not the worst stat line but with Simmons its not the stats we really worry about. After the game Simmons was asked about his preformance in the loss.Ben Simmons’ unwillingness to attack the basket underscored the Nets’ inability to take care of the basketball or generate quality offense against one of the NBA’s premier defenses.Simmons, however, said there are some things he isn’t yet comfortable doing — like “getting to the rim, getting hit and hitting” other players — because he’s only a few months removed from offseason back surgery.

I for one do believe Simmons will get back to his All Star level of play this season. He always been box office when it comes to transition offense and we all know how he's a real star on the defensive end. Here's a look at some of his play Thursday.

New York Basketball on Twitter 

A couple of plays that epitomize what Simmons has been struggling with in terms of being "aggressive".

Simmons, for example, had a 10-inch height advantage on Heat guard Kyle Lowry and had the mismatch with a one-on-one on the high post. Instead of looking to power to the rim against the smaller opponent, he threw the ball back out to Durant on the perimeter.

When Durant immediately gave the ball back to Simmons — a sign for Simmons to take advantage of the mismatch and get to the rim — Simmons took one dribble towards the paint and shoveled a pass to Royce O’Neale on the opposite wing.

On the very next possession, Simmons advanced the ball up the floor against second-year two-way signing Marcus Garrett. Markieff Morris screened Garrett at the three-point line and Simmons pushed within two feet of the foul line.

And then he flung a pass to O’Neale in the left wing. This time, Garrett was in position and made a play to get possession of the ball.

Some of Simmons’ passes were predictable because Simmons didn’t — and doesn’t — look to score often. Durant said the team “definitely” wants Simmons “to be more aggressive and look to score, especially if he’s got a small wing in the post,” and when he “has an advantage going downhill in transition.”

But he also knows how long of a layoff it’s been for Simmons and that Thursday only marked his second game back.

“Looking at the box score, I took three shots, which is definitely not enough,” he said. “Obviously offensively, I want to get to the post more, get some more touches down low, be more aggressive, get to the rim, get to the free throw line, which I didn’t do tonight.

My Takeaways from the game.

    • KD looked fantastic per usual.
    • Simmons still looked rusty.
    • Miami Heat rookie Nikola Jovic looked great. Big SF with PG like Vision and handles. Great size.
  • Jovic would finish the contest with 10 points, three rebounds, and five assists on 4-7
  • Im keeping a eye on Duncan Robinson to see if his contract season was a fluke. He finished with 12 Pts 5 Rebs 4 Ast in 22 mins of play.
  • Bam finished with 17 Pts 3 Rebs 2 Ast.

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