During Brooklyn Nets Media Day on September 27th, Kevin Durant revealed that one of the reasons behind his trade request during the summer was the team’s lack of competitiveness last season. And after rescinding his request in the eleventh hour, the Nets star expected that would change this season.
But after dropping their second consecutive game to the Miami Heat on Thursday, the Nets have suffered two consecutive blowouts. Usually, in preseason games, even after a loss, there is at least something positive to take away from the contest. But in this case, Durant says the only thing he was pleased with was that the Nets left the floor healthy.
“I didn’t like anything, to be honest. I like that we came out of the game healthy,” Durant said after the loss per NetsDaily.
“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.”
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Ben Simmons Sounds off on Nets Growth
Nets superstar Ben Simmons will be a component of the team’s success this year. After a hiatus from the NBA that lasted over 400 days, the Nets star returned to the court for Brooklyn’s preseason opener on Monday.
Simmons did a little bit of everything against his former team, the Philadelphia 76ers notching a stat line of 6 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, and 1 steal in limited playing time.
But in his second game against the Heat, he left a lot to be desired, scoring just 4 points and coughing up 6 turnovers. There are a lot of new additions to this current Nets squad, and Simmons says that the team is still in the process of figuring everything out.
“There’s a lot we need to build and grow on, obviously defensively and offensively I think right now we trying to just figure it out,” Simmons said after the loss per NetsDaily.
“Defensively we don’t really have too many schemes going right now, so I think we’re just out there playing a lot and just trying to move the ball, play their pace, and kind of get a feel for everyone’s game.”
Nash Sounds off on Simmons’ Aggressiveness
Simmons was not acquired for his scoring ability but rather for his elite defense and playmaking skills. But for him to have success making plays for his teammates, the Nets will need to have adequate spacing, which will be generated by Simmons’ aggressiveness in attacking the basket.
The Nets star only took four shots in the loss to Miami on Thursday. And while it is only preseason, if that trend continues, it won’t bode well for the type of offense the Nets are trying to create. But head coach Steve Nash isn’t worried about Simmons in that aspect. He expects his star forward to grow in that area over time.
“I think he’s going to grow in that respect. I think he’s going to get more attempts. Right now, obviously, it’s a little clunky for us. We’re missing some guys tonight that space the floor, put pressure on the defense, they can load up, and do some of those things,” Nash said of Simmons’ aggressiveness via NetsDaily.
“Ben will be fine. He’ll improve. He’ll get better every night and he’s going to be an engine for us and be a big part of what we do. I’m not normally worried about him but it is a process.
He hasn’t played for a long time. He’s also getting associated with a new group. That takes time. It’s not going to be perfect, and it probably won’t be anytime soon. If we can keep improving every day, that’s all we ask for.”
The Nets have two preseason games remaining before they officially tip off the 2022-23 season. They can get back on track with a win against the Milwaukee Bucks on October 12.