Kevin Durant was glad with what he saw from Ben Simmons on Friday night against the Toronto Raptors. On Friday, Simmons delivered a solid performance as he scored six points, grabbed 10 rebounds, had eight assists, along with two blocks in the Brooklyn Nets' 109-105 win over the Raptors.
"He just got downhill -- he just played free," Durant said of Simmons. "He didn't think too much. I think we're all a little anxious to start playing, start the season last game, so we had a better start to the game. He impacted the game as much as he could tonight.
We need that from everybody, but I think we're all a little [more] relaxed, even the coaches."
Durant, Steve Nash praised Simmons
On Wednesday night, Simmons had a very poor performance in the Nets' season opener. Against the New Orleans Pelicans, Simmons had just four points, five rebounds, five assists, three turnovers, and also fouled out with nine minutes left in the game.
After a poor showing versus the Pelicans, Simmons came to play against the Raptors and helped the Nets win their first game of the season. Reflecting on Simmons' performance versus the Raptors, Nets head coach Nash said it was the Simmons he wants to see on a nightly basis.
"A step up for Ben," Nash said of Simmons' performance. "From the jump he was more aggressive. He got in the paint, every time he gets in the paint he causes problems. He's starting to show the player he can be, and I still think he's got a ways to go, so really proud of him.
He shook off the first night, and I thought he was much more aggressive in an important game for us." After helping the Nets beat the Raptors, Simmons revealed what was Nash' message after his poor outing in the season opener.
"Just attack," Simmons said. "Just be me. It's easy to say, but to go and do it, it's tough. But that's on me. Keep pushing myself." On Wednesday night, Simmons was turning the ball over and also got into a foul trouble. This time, Simmons took better care of the basketball.
"I didn't get fouled out, which is good," Simmons said. "Less turnovers, so just keep building." On Monday, the Nets are playing the Memphis Grizzlies.