Danny Green has played a total of six games with Ben Simmons – four in the regular season and two preseason tilts.
So Tuesday was the perfect time to ask Green if anything new stood out to him about the All-NBA guard’s game.
“I think we all knew how talented he was,” he said. “I think now it’s just him grasping and understanding the system and forming into, which he’s not naturally as a point guard, you know, he’s a great playmaker as Doc [Rivers] would say.
“And he’s good at making plays, but he’s still learning how to put sets together, put people in places, which is going to be different for him, especially with the new system.”
In addition to changing the system, new coach Doc Rivers has brought in a new coaching staff and the team has 10 new players. The early games in the schedule serve as an adjustment period for players and coaches. They all have things to figure out, and Simmons’ teammates have helped by making the game easier for him and vice versa.
“We all know how skilled he was,” Green said. “I just think he has to be more, in certain times, more assertive and in certain times be more patient. But at the same time, trusting his abilities not just what he’s good at, but things we know that he’s not used to doing.
“Whether that’s shooting the jumper. I think he can shoot it pretty well.”
Green, acquired in a Dec. 8 trade from Oklahoma City, has been encouraging Simmons to shoot more jumpers, but that’s a process.
“So hopefully we can learn offense first, and we’ll figure out his comfortability within the offense, and hopefully, you know, expand his game a little more.”
Simmons has attempted 29 shots through his first three regular-season games. Eighteen (62%) of those shots came at the rim, making 14 at close range. Simmons has made 3 of 9 shots (33%) from 3-to-10 feet and missed his two attempts from beyond 10 feet. He had not attempted a three-pointer.
Stepping up in place of Furkan Korkmaz
Green will tell you that the entire shooting guard-wing unit has to step up now that Furkan Korkmaz is sidelined with a left groin strain. That includes Green, Shake Milton, Seth Curry and Matisse Thybulle needing to fill the void.
“It’s not just a one-person job,” Green said. “We all have to shoot better. We have to play better, move the ball and play with each other better. But I think Matisse [Thybulle] will probably get some more minutes if I had to guess.”