East Notes: Nets, Ben Simmons, Cavs, Pacers, Rick Carlisle


Guard/forward Ben Simmons suggested he thinks the Nets may be better than people expect. And that he might, too.

“We have a great opportunity to start from scratch and build a team that can shock a lot of people,” he told Esquire Australia. “And then individually, I want to be back where I was. I want to be an All-Star. I want to be better than an All-Star. That’s where I want to be. I never try to live with myself. I’m never like, Well, hopefully, maybe I get a couple votes in an All-Star game. Nah, if that’s the case, I might as well be fishing.”

Simmons added that the back issue that plagued him last season seems to have cleared up.

“This is what people don’t know,” he said. “I was struggling walking and little things like going upstairs. I had pain in my knee and in my back just sitting down in cars. The smallest things to me that seemed normal were such a struggle. You could tell in the way I was breathing too. Because every time I would go to do something I would just be compressed and trying to get ready to brace myself. So to be able to stand up right after this interview and go walk around is a blessing for me.”


  • The Cavs’ rotation is taking shape with the season opener just about a week away, wrote Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com.
  • Coach J.B. Bickerstaff said he intends to play the regulars for much of the first three quarters in Friday’s preseason finale. “My expectation is we get as close to game-like as we can — if all goes well,” Bickerstaff said.
  • In case you missed it, I wrote about Bickerstaff’s thoughts on fast-rising rookie Emoni Bates. You can check out the full story here.


Coach Rick Carlisle went on SiriusXM NBA Radio to discuss the Pacers’ plans, and said the goal is to compete this season while keeping an eye on the future.

Bruce Brown was brought here to bring a level of edge, competitiveness, championship experience, to impact our situation immediately,” Carlisle told Indiana play-by-play man Mark Boyle. “If you look at our roster, if you look at our salaries, we have the lowest-paid roster in the entire NBA, which is a great thing, on one hand. We also have a roster full of exciting young talent.

“When you’re in that position, you generally don’t stay in that position for long — because you gotta make decisions on who you’re going to play long term, who are the guys you’re going to invest in and so forth. But right now we’re in a prime position and as we move forward, there will be opportunities (for potential roster moves).”

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