Nets Notebook: Ben Simmons to proceed coming off the bench
Starting Nets heart Nic Claxton joked that his capturing threes may present the spacing wanted to play extra minutes along with Ben Simmons.
That, nevertheless, isn’t a viable possibility, irrespective of how keen Claxton, a profession 15% three-point shooter, is to allow them to fly.
“I wanna shoot [them],” he mentioned.
For now, Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn mentioned Simmons will proceed to come back off the bench as he works his manner by offseason again surgical procedure and a swollen knee that he had fluid drained from final week.
The Nets have staggered the minutes Claxton and Simmons play. They have discovered success in that strategy, whereas giving Simmons extra freedom to steer the second unit.
“Especially with the second group, I think he’s done a good job and he finished the game with the first group,” Vaughn mentioned after observe on Friday. “He gives you the flexibility to be able to play fast, have space on the floor, still be big out there, rebound the basketball.”
Vaughn admitted it’s troublesome for the Nets to play Simmons and Claxton collectively as a result of neither are adept three-point shooters, and the workforce performs finest when there may be area within the half-court offense.
“The spacing on the floor, especially when teams are double-teaming Kev [Durant], we’ve gotta have shooters out there,” Vaughn mentioned.
Claxton additionally understands the dilemma.
“It’s tough,” he mentioned. “Teams load up on each of us, and it sort of makes their job simple when each of us are on the court docket.
For now, the staggering will work as a result of Claxton is enjoying properly and Simmons remains to be working to get again to his All-Star type.
At some level, nevertheless, Simmons will should be enjoying half-hour a recreation once more.
“It’s a long season, we can work something out and I think we can get to [playing together more] at some point,” Claxton mentioned. “Maybe not right now, but once Ben gets going a bit, maybe we can work it out.”
That means both the Nets must discover a approach to play Claxton and Simmons collectively, or Claxton will find yourself seeing his minutes decline if Simmons absolutely finds his recreation.”
“I think we’ve had some positive results both ways,” Vaughn mentioned.
Vaughn mentioned “hopefully” Simmons’ minutes will enhance in the course of the street journey.
After lacking 4 video games with a swollen knee, Simmons performed 16 minutes in opposition to the Dallas Mavericks and 24 minutes in opposition to the Knicks on Wednesday.
“That first game, his [minutes limit] was 20-ish, he ended up [playing] 16,” Vaughn mentioned. “He was 20-ish [against the Knicks] and ended up playing 25. So a lot of it is geared towards: anyone who steps on the floor, play hard.”
Vaughn says he’s happy with Simmons’ development during the last two video games.
“He hasn’t played in a long time, and consecutively: four games in five nights, six in nine, so it tests your mental and physical strength,” he mentioned. “I think you’ve seen him start to progress. Last game, more minutes in the game and some positive force that you saw from him. The tip dunk and we’ll continue to see that the more he plays.”
Vaughn says veteran ahead T.J. Warren has superior to enjoying pickup video games in opposition to coaches and will probably be re-assessed sooner or later within the subsequent two weeks.
Warren has missed every of the previous two seasons because of consecutive stress fractures in his left foot. The final time he performed, he averaged about 27 factors for the Indiana Pacers within the NBA’s Orlando Bubble.
It’s going to take a while, nevertheless, for Warren to get again to that time.
Vaughn mentioned Warren appears good in observe however hedged that in opposition to the truth that he’s solely enjoying in opposition to coaches.
“The read against players is not there yet,” he mentioned earlier than joking: “Coaches are a little slower than the players, a little older.”
Nets starter Royce O’Neale mentioned Warren is “almost playing five-on-five” and is “eager to play.”
“Even if he’s not playing, he’s still talking to us and communicating, so that’s the big thing,” O’Neale mentioned. “It takes everybody as a team.”
Vaughn mentioned reserve ahead Yuta Watanabe is more likely to miss the primary two video games of the Nets’ four-game West Coast street journey.
Watanabe wore a brace on his left ankle throughout Nets observe after sustaining a sprain in opposition to the Dallas Mavericks on Monday. He was in good spirits in the course of the workforce’s post-practice open fitness center session,
“He did do some shooting today,” Vaughn mentioned. “So hopefully that’s trending in the right direction.”
CLIPPERS COMING UP
The Nets are set to embark on a four-game West Coast street journey that includes matchups in opposition to each the Los Angeles Clippers and Lakers, the Sacramento Kings and Portland Trail Blazers.
The Clippers, who’re with out star ahead Kawhi Leonard, are probably the most difficult workforce on the docket, and they’re first up in opposition to a Nets workforce that will probably be examined after successful three of their final 4 video games.
Even with out Leonard, the Clippers are one of many hardest groups within the Western Conference. Paul George is averaging 25.4 factors per recreation, nevertheless it’s the depth on a Clipper workforce with not less than 10 gamers who may begin elsewhere that would give Brooklyn points on Saturday.
“That’s what we talked about today, the depth they have and the different styles the play,” Vaughn mentioned. “John Wall coming in with that second unit is going to be a transition piece that we really have to be concerned about.”
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