NBA | Zion hot, Simmons not
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The NBA season for 2022–2023 has begun. Wednesday night saw a full slate of games following Boston’s victory over Philadelphia and the Warriors’ crushing victory over the Lakers on Tuesday. The Clippers and Bucks are the only two teams without a game as of this writing. Here are some of the biggest opening-night headlines.
In his debut game in more than 18 months, Zion Williamson had an immediate impact, scorching the Nets for 25 points, nine rebounds, four steals, and three assists. Williamson continues to have a fantastic feel for positioning opponents to get to his left hand, whether with his back to the basket or by starting his downward motion a beat before the catch. Williamson is obviously in excellent shape. He repeatedly went right through Ben Simmons for layups in the paint. His second leap is equally quick and powerful as the first. When everyone else is still rooted to the floor, he will occasionally pogo-stick up for his own miss.
On 10-of-17 shooting, Brandon Ingram ended with 28 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. He was one of the league’s better and more frequently challenged shooters, making difficult shots all night long appear effortless and fluid. The Pelicans easily defeated Brooklyn, making a good impression in the process.
In his first NBA game since June 2021, Simmons ended with more fouls (six) than points (four), rebounds (five), and assists (five). He largely played as a half-court screener and made a couple of good interior passes, but overall, he was another body rushing around. He had little effect on the game, missing his only two free throw attempts and frequently being bullied in the paint by Williamson.
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