A perennial All-Star with the 76ers, the 6-foot-10 guard was none other than with the Nets. But in the last two games, something seems to have clicked with Simmons and his teammates.
After, after She reported “frustration” within the organization On the surface, Simmons had the best online game of his career in Brooklyn’s 109-107 win Thursday night against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Simmons scored 15 points while recording 13 rebounds and seven assists. It was the 26-year-old’s first double-double since June 14, 2021.
“It’s very encouraging,” the Nets coach said Jack Vaughn he said of Simmons’ performance after the game. “Most of the minutes he’s played, he’s been hitting well. He’s had a few combinations with nick [Claxton], without Nick, pushing basketball like a movie… kind of what we imagined, doing everything for us. If we can continue to grow with him, understand him, his game, how he benefits and with whom, that’s very encouraging.”
Simmons has dealt with a number of health issues in his era as a pickup, including a back injury that started when he was with the 76ers. He’s now dealing with left knee soreness that sidelined him for five of the Nets’ first 15 games.
Vaughn noted that the difference he sees from Simmons is that he “feels good”. The knee injury ruled him out of the Nets’ game against the Lakers on Sunday, but Vaughn applauded Simmons for putting his efforts in the right direction and getting back on the floor.
“I had back surgery, and that’s not easy to come back from,” Simmons said of his attempt to get back into All Star form. “I stay closed. I stay focused and keep building myself, my body and my game.”
his teammate Kevin Durant He dropped 35 points to lead the scoring for Brooklyn, but after the game he was visibly excited, not by his own accomplishments but by Simmons’ game.
“Unbelievable. I’m happy for him because he’s been trying to get his form back, trying to set his rhythm,” said Durant. “I think he did a good job tonight just talking, leading the offense, and leading the team on the defensive side of the ball. He was amazing.”
He added, “This is the kind of game we have to see. We expect that from him every night.”
After consecutive 10-plus-point games, Simmons was asked if he took pride in reminding the rest of the league what he could do.
The three-time All-Star smiled and said, “I’m coming in. I’m getting there, it took me a while. I’ve got my back. My teammates have my back, my coaches.”
The next Nets game is Sunday vs Ja Morant The Memphis Grizzlies. with Kyrie Irving With a return expected, and a revitalized Simmons, Nets fans may finally see the new Big Three on the floor in full force.