The 2022-23 NBA regular season is only three games old for the Nets, but it’s already been a bit of a roller coaster ride. And it has nothing to do with season-ticket sales being down. It’s regarding Ben Simmons and his propensity to commit fouls as often as he scores points.
Brooklyn was in Memphis on Monday night with hopes of going 2-1. That didn’t happen, as the Grizzlies beat the Nets by a score of 134-124. This happened despite Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant scoring 37 points each. The final piece of the Nets’ Big Three — Simmons — didn’t have himself a good night.
He did have a game-high eight assists. That was accompanied by five turnovers, three rebounds, and seven points in 28 minutes. He also fouled out for the second time in three games, which led to this sad statistic:
Ben Simmons has 17 points and 14 fouls this season…
He's fouled out in 2/3 games he's played in pic.twitter.com/048AWiNHs4
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 25, 2022
In his defense, the call that led to him fouling out was kind of bogus. Simmons did let it get to that point, so there’s a little bit of blame to go around. This isn’t the start he was hoping for after not playing since June of 2021.
This is still an adjustment period for him, though. He got traded to the Nets at last year’s trade deadline, but obviously didn’t play at all. The preseason and these three games are the first opportunities he’s had to play with both KD and Kyrie. It’ll take some time for him to get comfortable and find natural chances to take some shots. On Monday night in Memphis, he took just five shots from the floor, while Durant and Irving each took more than 20.
That’s been on par with Simmons’ shot attempts through Brooklyn’s other two games. His .583 field-goal percentage on two-pointers is in line with his career norms. But he’s averaging just 4.3 shots per game. He’s averaged 11.5 shots per night for his career.
To look on the bright side, though, things can only get better from here for Simmons. Right?